After producing a short film, Chalo Jeete Hain, inspired from PM Narendra Modi’s childhood, Mahaveer Jain produced Malaal along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He speaks with Shalini Saksena about his upcoming projects among other things
- What is Chalo Jeete Hain about?
In simple words, it’s about nurturing a dream and working hard to fulfil it. A young Naru has become our PM now, but since the last 50 years — he is still living his life for us, not for himself but for others, for our country. That’s what inspired us to make this film.
- What are the steps needed to make the entertainment industry more proactive in nation-building?
The meeting between Bollywood fraternity and our Prime Minister that we had initiated was just the beginning of our film industry to get more proactive in the process of nation-building. The PM graciously told the delegation how much of a change and progress they can bring to the nation. We wanted the Prime Minister to meet the younger generation of Bollywood stars. He wanted the entertainment industry to feel a part of the process of the nation’s growth and development. Our entertainment industry has a tremendous amount to give to the nation. As the PM pointed out to them, these stars are role models.
- How do movies like Chalo Jeete and Drug-Free India leave an impact if few watch it?
The overwhelming response to Chalo Jeete Hain inspired us to come up with yet another inspiring and noble initiative — Drug-Free India — Na Karunga Na Karne Dunga (DFI) campaign, led by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We have tried to ensure that the movie and campaign reach to people across the country and later at the global level to create awareness. I would also like to thank Rai for presenting Chalo Jeete Hain, and the entire team of it.
- How to convince others to make movies that are content-driven?
To be frank, it depends upon the script and the story which you are willing to tell. Everything depends upon the story that you want to tell.
- Watching a film is about entertainment. What are the challenges in making people watch films like Dekh India Circus?
A film lover will watch the film depending upon the subject, if a subject interests the audience then they will go watch it, no matter what.
- What points do you keep in mind while selecting a project?
It’s very simple — a good script and a vision to tell the story to the audience.
- You have worked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Aanand L Rai, and Bhushan Kumar. What attracted you to do these stories?
These filmmakers are great storytellers. Besides that, there’s always a novelty factor and thought process associated with the projects they create. The stories that they create appeals to the masses and has got a subtle underlying message as well.
- What are your upcoming projects?
The Sundial Entertainment is looking forward to several interesting projects. We have recently announced a film on the life of Narayana Murthy and his wife, Sudha Murthy, which we are doing with Ashwiny and Nitesh Tiwari, both of whom are very dear friends and extremely talented people whom I admire, and it will be lovely working with them. Rai has also been very supportive and it is wonderful associating with such a beautiful person. There are four additional films in the pipeline. Each one is at different stages of development and we will announce them in due course. The objective is to do significant and meaningful films and at Sundial, we are always on the lookout for such scripts.