Richa Chadha opens up about producing her first ever short film, the rise of female producers in the industry and upcoming projects.
Actress Richa Chadha has turned producer with a Punjabi short film Khoon Ali Chithi. In a candid chat, the actress shares her experience of being a producer, challenges, her desire to work in content-driven films and much more. Excerpts from the interview
How did the idea of producing a film come to you?
I always wanted to produce films, but I wasn’t sure. Then when a friend spoke about directing a film, I was on board in no time. Before I knew it, we were working on technicalities like sound and Khoon Ali Chithi happened. It highlights the dark phase of Punjab in the late ’80s and early ’90s characterised by police brutality. There’s a tiny love story against that backdrop.
Why did you choose to produce a short film and not a feature film?
I had no apprehensions as such. I just thought of starting with a short film. See, I am not among those who are retired and then producing the film. I’m a very active actor also. I have to balance all my commitments. On top of that, we need to start from somewhere. I thought a short film would be the perfect place to start from.
What were you challenges you faced as a producer?
As a producer, you have to take charge of everything. This includes the evaluation of the budget, taking a call on the kind of trailer to cut, decide the colour scheme of the film, sit with the director and chalk out the talking points of the film to be represented in the press. I learned a lot, but I’m sure there is a lot more to learn. I now look at actors more objectively They’re all so expensive!
Do you feel that there is a trend that Anushka Sharma and Priyanka Chopra have started, in terms of producing?
It is not a competition — they make their own kind of cinema, I will make my kind of films. We are not in school or college (to constantly compare). In fact, it is a good thing that we all are producing since we need more female producers.
Do you ever feel insecure about being an outsider?
My acting has garnered a lot of critical acclaim. I have quite a few box office hits as well — such as Fukrey, Gangs of Wasseypur, and even Masaan. I am not worried about anything, but I am always on toes and looking forward to content-driven films.
Cabaret has been stuck for the longest time…
As an actor in the film, my take is that the producers are adults. They have invested money, which means they will resolve issues ahead of the release and ensure that there is a release. Nobody benefits from an unreleased film. I have been busy since I completed the film, so I haven’t thought of it much. Of course, it hurts when you work and it gets stuck or won’t release. I believe every film has its own destiny and when the time is right for it, the film will release. It wasn’t an easy film to work on. The director is a nice guy, Pooja is a brave girl and even Bhushanji is so much involved in the film.
Are you excited about Fukrey 2?
It is a really funny film and will take the story ahead from where Fukrey ended. It’ll answer questions such as ‘what happens to Bholi?’ ‘Does she stay in jail or gets a bail?’ ‘Does she torture the guys or leave that scam to start another one?’ But Fukrey 2 is grander and bigger in scale and plot.
What is happening with your web series Powerplay?
The title has been changed to The Inside Edge to make it more sound edgy. I play an actor who owns a cricket team in the series. I feel now is the time for the digital content because it is getting more accessible for the audience. When we released Masaan, I realised that some films get such less screens. Some people wanted to see the film in Vapi, but had to travel all the way to Ahmedabad to watch it. That’s the reason online viewing is booming.