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Two to Tango

If Diljit’s natural acting, Neeru Bajwa’s charm and Raja Beta Shampy have been the topics of your drawing room discussion, HT City brings you excerpts from a quick chat with the two men who made Jatt & Juliet 2 the maximum grosser of Pollywood, yet. Meet director Anurag Singh and producer Manmord Sidhu…

brunch Updated: Jul 15, 2013 09:40 IST
Navleen Lakhi
Navleen Lakhi

Manmord Sidhu, 31, producer

Canada-based Sidhu, after doing a diploma from Vancouver Film School and a degree from University of British Columbia, started White Hill Productions to cater to film production, line production, ad films and film distribution. With Indo-Canadian films such as Ocean of Pearls and Canadian Dream to his credit, he was the Candian line producer for Jatt & Juliet.

For Jatt & Juliet 2, Manmord was one of the main producers and distributors. “Besides Jatt & Juliet [1 and 2], we were also the distributors for Daddy Cool Munde Fool, Sirphire, Kabaddi Once Again, Carry On Jatta and Pata Nahi Rabb Kehdeyan Ranga Ch Raazi.”

Disclosing the budget of Jatt & Juliet 2, he says, “The production cost was R6 crore and R2 crore were spent on publicity and promotions. When a film does well, the team rightly demands better pay packages. Increased production costs, hiring local artistes in Canada, setting up sets and shooting at two airports with guns — for which we had to pay a huge amount to the Canadian government — all these factors add up to a lot. Made on the budget of R8 crore, it’s also the highest budget Punjabi movie. We started the promotion on April 20. Though the promotional tour in India was for two weeks, we did many shows overseas [Canada, US and Australia]. It’s just been three weeks and it has already done business of about R25 crore.”

Anurag Singh, 36, director

After giving Jatt & Juliet, that went on to become a brand, in 2012, the director is bound to be under tremendous pressure to surpass people’s raised expectations, to which Anurag says, “I was nervous while making the second one.

Not making a sequel, and coming up with an unrelated story, was intentional. When Jatt & Juliet released, people said it was truly a rom-com; something they probably hadn’t experienced in Punjabi films till then. It came as a surprise for everyone, including me, that it went on to become a brand. We cashed in on the brand name for Jatt & Juliet 2. The success of the film also lied in the fact that 75% of the film was shot in Canada at beautiful locales.”

How can any success be complete without criticism? “I did come across people who thought the story was average. But then, I took it as a compliment; we did not want to present the audience with anything complicated. In fact, look at how an average story has garnered such appreciation! For those who criticise the story, I ask them to blame me equally — I was the one who chose the script.”

First Published: Jul 15, 2013 09:38 IST