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Here's What Disney's Siddharth Roy Kapur Thinks About Indian Film Studios' Financial Mess

Not a strong response but a response nonetheless.

29/09/2016 6:28 PM IST | Updated 29/09/2016 7:10 PM IST
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There's a general perception within and outside the industry that some of the top film studios are going through a lean phase, with their investments not giving the kind of returns they had hoped for.

An article in The Quint pointed that out elaborately and while everybody from the actor to the director to the producer has been making money, there is no denying that the studios have gotten the raw end of the deal.

Disney India has halted its local film production operations with CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur on his way out this December when the studios' penultimate film, Aamir Khan's Dangal comes out.

Studios like Viacom 18 and Eros International are already shifting focus on distribution while Fox Star Studios, the one that has bled the most with mega-flops like Bombay Velvet and Shaandaar, is green-lighting projects with great scrutiny.

In a recent interview with Mumbai Mirror, CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures, Sameer Nair, even said that due to their recent spate of flops, the Ekta Kapoor-led studio is now going to be 'more cautious' with film production and that their larger focus will be on television.

Word on the street is that Kapoor is waiting to see how her upcoming film, the Shraddha-Arjun Kapoor-starrer Half Girlfriend, performs at the box-office.

At the press conference to announce the line-up of the Mumbai Film Festival, HuffPost India took the opportunity to ask the gathered filmmakers about the perceived crisis and what, according to them, was the way to combat it.

Present at the launch were filmmakers like Kiran Rao, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Rohan Sippy, Manish Mundra, Karan Johar, and outgoing CEO of Disney India, Siddharth Roy Kapur.

In recent years, under Roy Kapur's leadership, Disney has seen commercially flop films like Phantom, Tamasha, Katti Batti, Fitoor and more recently, Dishoom and Mohenjo Daro.

To sum it up, nobody is in grave crisis. Whatever happens, the director, the producer, and the film will always survive.

The panel was reluctant to comment on the issue as they felt it "wasn't the right platform."

But after consistent probing, both Roy Kapur and Johar gave some perspective on the issue.

Responding to HuffPost's query, Roy Kapur said, "Yes, there is a problem of sorts but one must look at this as a learning experience. There is an opportunity in every crisis that an industry faces. It's an interesting time when we must take stock of the situation and evaluate how we must handle it in the future. We need to ensure that the next generation of filmmakers needs to be more effective and responsible financially than we've been in the past few years. Honestly, I look at it as an opportunity and a major learning curve."

Karan Johar, on the other hand, said that he doesn't think there is any sort of fiscal crisis within the industry, not the way in which it has been presented in the media.

He said, "We're not in any grave crisis. Studios came in the country for a reason, and they're going out for a reason. We were all surprised when they came in, we're all surprised now. One thing we all can agree in this panel is that we're all filmmakers who are trying to tell stories. We've been trying to control budgets since the time I can remember. But it's a problem that has remained unsolved. We're all producers who are part of the same industry and are facing it together."

He added, "To sum it up, nobody is in grave crisis. Whatever happens, the director, the producer, and the film will always survive."

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