In 2006, Siddharth Roy Kapur was one of the founding members of UTV Spotboy, a studio that energised Hindi cinema by backing low-budget but high-quality content films such as Aamir, Udaan, Paan Singh Tomar, and Shahid. Twelve years later, Roy Kapur releases another challenging project, Pihu, this time around under his eponymous banner, which he set up in 2017. The drama thriller follows a day in the life of a two-year-old girl trapped in an apartment with her dead mother.
Bollywood has evolved since Roy Kapur joined UTV, which was later acquired by Disney India. A superstar now doesn’t mean sure-shot success. Take Salman Khan and Aamir Khan, who both delivered duds in 2018. Instead, audiences are heading to cinemas to watch films like Stree, Andhadhun, and Badhaai Ho, where an engaging story supersedes the star. “You can make all kinds of cinema and not one kind,” said Roy Kapur about the success of the above-mentioned films.
He aims to do just that with Roy Kapur Films (RKF). The producer is using his repute and impressive track record to draw talented writers to develop scripts. Simultaneously, he has a “robust creative team” in place. RKF has a biopic on astronaut Rakesh Sharma starring Shah Rukh Khan that takes off next year, and a film with Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim already on floors.
Siddharth Roy Kapoor is using his repute and impressive track record to draw talented writers to develop scripts. (Photo: Facebook)
But it is not just making films that are keeping him occupied. Roy Kapur was re-elected as the President of Producers Guild Of India. He knows that in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the Guild has to ensure that production houses and studios are implementing the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace guidelines.
More so since the workplace “is very rarely the office”, he said. “It’s the sets of your film and often informal environments,” he added. “It is mandatory for all our new and existing members to give us an affidavit that they have implemented it, failing which we have the right to expel a member.” The bigger challenge, he said, is to help the “smaller producers who might be less structured and less professional set-ups” to have “systems and processes in place.”
More recently, Roy Kapur joined Aamir Khan, Anand L Rai, Rajkumar Hirani, and more to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on October 24. Ask him about the issues discussed, Roy Kapur said the focus was on how “the industry can be leveraged as a source of soft power and communicate the India story to the world”. Modi, said Roy Kapur, concurred. “With the many interactions he’s had with foreign government officials, they kept raising the connection they have with India through the movies and music they watch and hear,” he said. India’s low screen density vis-à-vis China, taxation that’s more conducive to conduct business, and relaxation of rules and regulations pertaining to shooting in India were other topics tabled.
Said Roy Kapur, “You connect with people around the world through emotion and art and culture rather than through facts and figures.” And for that, it is important that there is an environment that fosters creativity rather than curbs it.
(Courtesy of Mail Today)