Never mind if you don’t have a financier to back your film. Just do what Shivaji Chandrabhushan is doing for his next film, One More, as did Onir for his movie, I Am. According to this financial model that is slowly gaining popularity in India, you can invest a certain amount of money and help produce the film. In return, the director promises you various perks. In the case of One More, a film on ice hockey that Chandrabhushan is shooting in Ladakh, which is where his directorial debut Frozen was also filmed, you can earn the title of being the film’s ‘co-producer’ on IMDB and also be in the film’s ending credits if you donate $5,000 (R 2,25,000).
But for the director, using this means of gathering money is more about connecting with his audience, rather than the creative liberty it provides in the absence of a producer. “I’m intrigued with the sociology of the concept,” he says. “Known production houses invest money only on known stars, so why would someone put money on films with unknown artistes and unconventional stories?”
However, when asked how the response to his model has been, he refused to reveal details, but made it a point to mention that it might not be the most viable for the budgets Bollywood biggies thrive on. “The response is just okay. I don’t want to divulge the contributions, but I’m talking to other prospective investors too,” says Chandrabhushan. “Funds from this module should be used for just one section of production. It’s tough to raise enough for the entire film.”
Funds still required
While the first half of the film has already been shot in Ladakh, the filmmakers need funds to sponsor their final schedule in Russia in August-September. “It was necessary to shoot in Ladakh in January because ice hockey is played in winter when the ponds are frozen,” adds the filmmaker, who seems to keep returning to the north, judging by his last film, Frozen. “And I will return there again and again, and that too, in the winters,” he laughs.