Vicky Donor has won many other awards too, but winning three National Awards is a big deal. It’s a great honour. We will need to follow this up with more such films. Shoojit (Sircar, director) and I were shooting for Madras Café (John’s next production) when we got the news (about the National Awards). That’s when it hit us... Madras Café will have to be better in terms of content. Vicky Donor has set a benchmark.
Do you think the industry is finally accepting content-driven films? I feel we’ve been lucky in terms of the content. My company and Shoojit have always focussed on slice-of-life subjects and fortunately, things have been great so far. We believe in making content-driven films that can also be commercial and can pass on important messages. But I want to thank God for the National Award. I feel vindicated.
How does the award inspire you as a producer? The last time I felt like this was when Water (2005) was nominated for the Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category. But I’m cautious about this victory. I’m happy, but not overtly excited. I am already feeling the pressure to do something better. I’m happy for Ayushmann (Khurrana, lead actor). He’s a lovely boy.