Small-budget films don’t suffer any more: Tigmanshu Dhulia

New Delhi, April 18 (Calcutta Tube) Director Tigmanshu Dhulia made a humble start with medium budget ‘Haasil’ and ‘Charas’ and is happy that the Hindi film industry continues to provide a platform to such small efforts. He says the new avenues of exhibition and distribution that have opened up are encouraging for filmmakers like him.

‘Small budget films don’t have to suffer any more. A big budget film needs a big opening, but a small budget film still manages to earn with a 30 percent opening,’ Dhulia told IANS in an e-mail interview.

‘If only four or five films become hits in a year, why do you think more than 200 films are made every year… people who put even a small amount of Rs.5 crore to 6 crore are not fools,’ he added.

In his career of two decades, Dhulia has witnessed encouraging changes in the film industry.

‘New avenues in distribution and exibition have opened…multiplexes have come up in smaller towns, which in turn affected the content. Film music no longer gets sold in CDs, but downloads generate money for music companies. If a film has good content and is made within a tight budget, it will surely get an audience. New ideas and fresh presentation are welcomed,’ he said.

‘Our film industry works on perception. Big corporates make big budget films to create their image and share value. Eventually all this is going to explode and a new format in filmmaking and distribution is going to emerge,’ added the filmmaker whose ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ has been produced by UTV.

After starting his career as a casting director with internationally renowned filmmaker Shekhar Kapur’s 1990 film ‘Bandit Queen’, Dhulia wrote the screenplay of ‘Dil Se’ before graduating as director with ‘Haasil’ (2003) and ‘Charas: A Joint Operation’ (2004).

He also has to his credit TV serials like ‘Just Mohabbat’ and ‘Star Bestsellers’.

Dhulia is returning to the big screen with his long-delayed film ‘Shagird’, releasing May 13. A political cop thriller set in Delhi with many twists and turns, the film primarily deals with desire getting dangerous and the story underlines the statement that power corrupts.

Produced by Reliance Entertainment, the film marks Nana Patekar’s comeback after Kabir Sadanand’s ‘Tum Milo Toh Sahi’ last year.

Dhulia, who has so far worked with Irrfan Khan, said: ‘The script demanded a middle-aged tough intimidating guy and Nana fitted the bill. It was not hard to convince him because after we decided to approch him, we worked hard on creating the character of Hanumant Singh.’

‘Apart from making him tough, we have made him funny and twisted and eventually very endearing… he agreed,’ Dhulia added.

The 44-year-old director teamed up with Irrfan in his two releases as well as in his much awaited forthcoming movie ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, in which he has cast the actor as an athelete who truns into a bandit and wreaks havoc in the ravines of Chambal Valley.

Why such a delay in the release of ‘Shagird’ and ‘Paan Singh Tomar’?

‘Though the film was almost complete and edited, some shooting was left. Nana broke his leg while shooting for some other film… so it was decided to put it on hold,’ said Dhulia.

‘ ‘Paan Singh…’ will be released in August or September this year. UTV had many big films lined up; that is why the delay,’ he added.

‘Shagird’ release will be followed by ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’ and then ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ will hit the screens.

But the director is not ready to sit on his laurels. He said, ‘I will start shooting for a gangster film called ‘Jai Ram Ji Kee’ in May.’

(Priyanka Sharma can be contacted at

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