The big fall in the value of rupee has hit filmmakers hard. At threat are film shoots abroad, grand sets and hiring foreign artists who’re featured regularly in Bollywood movies. “We are shooting a film with Akshay Kumar, It’s Entertainment, in Bangkok, and our costs have already gone up by 15-20%. Shooting films abroad is getting expensive by the day and we are losing a lot of money because the rupee is crashing at such a fast rate. I can just hope and pray that the rupee recovers for the benefit of our industry,” says filmmaker Kumar Taurani.
Sharing the same sentiment, Mukesh Bhatt, filmmaker and president of the Film and Television Producers Guild, says, “It is getting impossible for us producers to think of shooting films abroad. I don’t know where to shoot now because shooting abroad is so expensive and back home we have to face problems of corruption, red-tapism and not being treated with respect. That deters us from exploring great locations here.”
While the despair is obvious, some see a silver lining. “Till the situation stabilises I don’t see any producers planning to shoot their films abroad unless they can’t do anything about it, but in all this, the silver lining is that the revenue of our film collection abroad is also coming back in stronger currencies,” says filmmaker Tanuj Garg of Balaji Motion Films. There are, however, also those that feel nothing will stop producers from shooting abroad. “Jab filmmakers Rs100-150 crore ki filmein banate hain, cost toh badhegi lekin unhe 1-2 crore ke loss se zyaada fark nahi padega. They will make up for it at the box office,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra.
Karan Johar, filmmaker
The last time I saw a Re1 coin was when I was paid Rs11 for my acting job in Bombay Velvet. I was given two Rs5 notes and a coin. But more than the value of a rupee for me, what’s worrisome is the state of the Indian economy. I hope the government takes the required steps to control this situation.
Sushant Singh Rajput, actor
A month back, I broke my piggy bank (that was with me since childhood); that’s when I saw a lot of old Re1 (and even 50 paise) coins. I felt as if I have got hold of some ancient treasure (laughs). On a serious note, today, Re1 has no value. Even the smallest item costs nothing less than Rs50 or Rs100.
Jackie Shroff, actor
Re1 holds no value even for the kids begging on the streets. Even they don’t take it and ask for Rs5 instead.
Richa Chadda, actor
The rupee is on a perpetual fall, as are currencies across the world. That’s the nature of the capitalistic economic model. But I’m an optimist, so the rupee to me signifies the auspicious and indispensable shagun.
Ayushmann Khurrana, actor
Re1 will always have a nostalgic value from back when you could buy four orange-flavoured sweets. Now, even a beggar won’t take it. The current times are the most testing after the ’90s. We need an economic renaissance to get out of this situation.
Anil Kapoor, actor
I don’t remember clearly, but I must have been in school when I saw a Re1 coin the last time. In terms of value, back in 1969, when the film Talash was publicised as a Rs1 crore film, everyone was amazed. And today, even Rs100 crore doesn’t seem like much. So the value of the rupee has changed a hundred times over.
Imran Khan, actor
I have a piggy bank at home and have a lot of Re1 and Rs2 coins. Every time I pass the Sea Link, I get these coins and collect them. Once it’s full, I will check how much I’ve collected. I do think that we should be concerned as a country. The level of government interference in business has consistently deterred foreign investors, and that has now started to take a toll on our economy.