Getting into reel business
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"You have to get this right — the Indian School of Business (ISB) is not making or producing the film, it's the ISB students' initiative," says Abhishek Mohunta, a student of the prestigious ISB, Hyderabad, getting to the point — their film, the first commercial mainstream cinema ever to roll out of the hallowed domes of this premier institute.
Directed by Vivek Agnihotri of Goal and Chocolate fame, the film, Buddha in a Traffic Jam, is the brainchild of four ISB students — Ravi Agnihotri (27), Abhishek Mohunta (31), Pritika Idnani (28) and Sandeep Goel (30).
A socio-political drama on contemporary India, and a psychological thriller, Buddha in a Traffic Jam, started off as a five to 10 minute short film meant for the festival circuit. "We pitched the idea with Vivek who had come to our campus for a workshop, he liked it and Ravi, who knew Vivek, pushed it for a full-fledged feature," says Mohunta.
The point was: "Why do something small when it has the potential of being big?"
With this thought, the four, under their Friday Night Productions and co producers Phoenix Multidimensions Group and Vivek Agnihotri Creates, roped in 29 more students from the ISB and actors from Bollywood.
Planned for release in last quarter of this year, the film has been shot entirely on campus with actors Arunoday Singh, Anupam Kher, Mahie Gill and Pallavi Joshi among others living and experiencing life on campus along with the students. "They've been living here, attending classes, eating from the same canteen...and Arunoday is the perfect B-school student," says Vivek.
According to him, the film works on two ideologies and each is pitted against the other. "Who are the beneficiaries of the so called liberalisation? All we have is an urban audience, where is the rural India? It's as if 70 per cent have been dumped and forgotten and only 20-30 per cent represents the country...50 per cent of our country earns less than a dollar a day...this film raises fundamental questions just like these," says Vivek, adding how the current generation rarely questions the murky politics of this country.
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