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Reasons Why This National Award Winning Film's Producer is Committed to Indie Style Apart from Newton, Manish Mundra's Drishyam Films has produced Masaan, Dhanak, Umrika, Kadvi Hawa among others

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

As a kid, Manish Mundra always wanted to make films. As he grew up, he realized that people need money to make films. So, he shelved his dreams for a few years and started taking odd jobs on his way to Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited's Managing Director.

In the early 2010s, when filmmaker Rajat Kapoor vented out his anger on Twitter complaining about producers unwillingness to back indie films, Mundra immediately realized this as his opportunity and that's how his first film Aankon Dekhi happen.

The film was well received by the audience but failed to create a larger impact. However, the stint helped Mundra understand some of the key points of the movie-making business but more importantly the need of professionally organized efforts, from conceptualizing the film to producing it and exhibiting it.

Since then, there is no looking back for Mundra and his production company Drishyam Films as its boasts of movies like National Award winning film like Newton along with Masaan, Dhanak, Umrika and Kadvi Hawa in its kitty.

The Gains

Discussing his choice of films with Entrepreneur India, the producer says, "Since the mid-1990s to 2010s, this kind of cinema (indie) almost vanished from India and if at all was done, it was done at a minimal level and nobody would have heard about it."

For Mundra, it was never a conscious decision, but as he started travelling across the globe, his exposure to cinema widened and that's where he also felt the need reintroduce this genre of films in India. On the other side, he didn't have financial bandwidth to produce a megastar film or a fantasy film.

So, Mundra realized that the so-called offbeat cinema can thrive on the commercial basis and is more likely to break even as against a regular film and which is why Drishyam Films today is committed to producing such kind of cinema.

The Mantra

But to create a commercially successful indie film, you need to create a market for it, which is very difficult to crack. However, for Mundra the key here is consistency.

He treats films like an FMCG product - there is a lot of effort that has to go into the brand building, a proper clientele has to be developed who should continuously watch the movies under your banner and believe in it.

Once, you have crossed this milestone, digital platforms act as wonderful medium to promote the films. He says, "Digital platforms are a reality. It makes your clientele bigger and it is equally important for films like us (realistic and offbeat cinema) as the traction on OTT platform also makes digital companies realize the importance of this kind of filmmaking, and give you a better price for the next release and this pulls along."

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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