After having struggled to release his ambitious project, Rang Rasiya for over two years, filmmaker Ketan Mehta learnt his lesson. Therefore, to avoid facing the situation again, he, along with singer Anup Jalota, actor-director Deepa Sahi and media entrepreneur Subur Khan launched a new film distribution company called Open Door Films Limited. The first film that he will distribute will be his wife Deepa’s directorial debut, Tere Mere Phere, which releases on September 30.
“My film was made for $3 million in Hindi and English simultaneously. It didn’t have any A-listers, so getting a distributor took forever,” says Mehta, adding, “With the arrival of big corporate houses and monies, the independent distribution network has completely collapsed. There was an urgent need for its revival.”
The Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005) director insists that his company will provide independent filmmakers with a platform that will cater to everything from production to distribution. Having produced Mangal Pandey, Rang Rasiya and Tere Mere Phere successfully, Mehta says he is “aware of the bottlenecks and issues plaguing independent filmmakers”. “Most producer-distributors look for films with a big budget and a big star cast. This has made it difficult for independent filmmakers to get a decent release for their films. Our network will aim at getting them that platform.”
The filmmaker says he is planning to build a network of 400 to 500 screens to begin with. “The main objective of the company is to provide a viable, transparent and alternative global marketing and distribution platform for high quality Indian films. We are planning to release 25 to 30 films over the next three years, which includes about four to five films this year.”