Alumni Connect: Purushottam Karandak helped me build my character and confidence, says Suhrud Godbole
Suhrud Godbole (33), is a film producer who shot to fame with the films Pune 52 and Bajipune Updated: Mar 09, 2018 16:31 IST
Suhrud Godbole (33), is a film producer who shot to fame with the films Pune 52 and Baji. Pune 52 garnered a lot of accolades on the international festival circuit. Godbole studied film editing and prior to that completed his schooling and college in Pune. HT put Godbole under the camera lights to understand his alumni connect to the city’s various institutions.
Which institutions are you an ex-student of?
I studied in Loyola High school at Pashan. I was an average student and extremely weak in subjects like Maths, but good in languages. I then went to Fergusson college and chose English Literature, as I didn’t really want to study at all. I took up English only to get into theatre. My father was into theatre and as child I grew up watching plays. Initially, when I went to college, my intention was finish college, study abroad to further enhance my language skills, come back and teach; but then, theatre happened, or rather, Purushottam Karandak happened and for anyone who wanted to do theatre, it is a stepping stone. I acted in play called Ek Zala Aladdin, which introduced me to inter-college theatre and to theatre groups where I did mostly one act plays.
What was your learning experience as a student of life?
Though Fergusson College has a good department of English, I learnt more during the Purushottam Karandak, as it helped me build my character and it gave me a different kind of confidence and sense of healthy competition. It was a good experience. I never wanted to have a career as actor, but acting came in the form of roles in TV serials like Avantika and Duniyadaari and also in an English film, The Hangman, were I met actor Shreyas Talpade.
What did you do post graduation?
For a year I was working with Indian Magic Eye (IME), which was formed in 1999 by my father and his partners. In this company, I was learning the ropes, right from menial production works, which were my first responsibility. I always knew within me that I have a passion for telling stories. It was just about finding in what capacity I could tell a story. To know film making, the best thing to do is be fantastic editor. Editing really takes you deep into the anatomy of telling a story. I then studied at Whistling Woods International, in their very first batch. It was an amazing experience as for two years, I literally ate, slept and drank movies. It was a big learning experience and I made great friends.
How do you see yourself today?
Traditionally, a producer in India is known as Mr Moneybags, whereas when I came into the field, the idea of a producer had changed to someone who could build an entire project along with the director, right from financing and structuring deals, to finding distribution, creating a marketing strategy and releasing a plan. When I graduated, I wanted to make films, so within the company we decided to pursue filmmaking aggressively. We happened to connect with Nikhil Mahajan and his script of Pune 52. We were both young, same sensibilities and wanted to do something different. As a producer, I have produced six films. Tuhya Dharma Koncha? won the National award for best film on social issues. It was produced by IME.
What are your current projects?
We will begin with a new project in 2018. It is a crime thriller which will be different and will be directed by Nikhil Mahajan.
What plans for the future ?
The way entertainment consumption is changing, there will be a lot of new things coming about. The way people are watching films has changed and is changing rapidly, so now apart from traditional cinema halls, a lot of films are viewed on different platforms. It is an inflection point, where in the next five years, entertainment may see a paradigm shift. Story tellers will need to adapt to the changes. I am looking forward to working in digital space and really keen to do something in the music space, that is going rise rapidly. One day I want to start a film- themed restaurant, which is just an extension of the work I love.