Zeishan Quadri: The film industry was, is, and will remain biased
He has dabbled in the film industry in different capacities — he wrote the story for the cult film Gangs of Wasseypur, acted in it, and directed a film called Meeruthiya Gangster, too. And recently, Zeishan Quadri produced a film called Halahal.
Like every business, films, too, demand return on investment at the end of the day. In such a scenario, has Quadri been able to do and make the kind of projects that he wants to, minus the glamour or masala associated with mainstream cinema?
He says, “It’s simple and straight. All producers want their money back and now the industry is divided into OTT and feature films. When you say you want our money back, you’re not more than a line producer when you’re doing something for an OTT, because it’s completely their thing once they buy it. They give you money to produce. But you have creative freedom, can take calls. Yahaan pe aake flop hone ki possibility kam ho gayi hai.”
And when that fear of failure is gone, he adds that the content automatically improves.
“See the kind of shows that are being made. Then there are people like me, who make small films like Halahal, with a small budget. Even after promotions, people don’t pay attention to it,” rues the 38-year-old.
Quadri also reveals that the film was snubbed at mainstream affairs.
“Critics ne bhar bhar ke Halahal ko appreciate kiya. At the same time, it didn’t go to any awards. The films which won however, you’ll laugh how they got a nomination. Film industry biased thi, hai aur rahegi. Isse mujhe na kabhi farq padha tha, nah hai aur na padhega. I’ll make the kind of cinema and films I want. Till your things aren’t appreciated by Bollywood, the name given to the film industry — when they do that, audience for our films increases. Confidence of people like us gets a boost and we make more of such films. But Rome was not built in a day,” he ends on a thoughtful note.