I like challenges

Updated: May 27 2007, 05:30am hrs
He defined hip and cool with his first film Dil Chahta Hai. A filmmaker whos believed in making films primarily for the urban multiplex audience, Farhan Akhtar grew up watching movies of Guru Dutt, Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen. Akhtars three films as director, namely Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya and Don, differentiate the idea of hero and heroism in Bollywood by making the characters as flawed as real people. Today he is talked about as someone who has brought a change in the industry by breaking free from cliches and offering something new to the audience. Among contemporaries, Akhtar admires Shimit Amin and Imtiaz Ali. Bheja Fry in particular was a film he enjoyed immensely.The rules of the game have changed completely in Bollywood and the audience is only accepting films which have new concepts and high tech special effects. While the audience now waits for a cool movie every Friday, we spoke to the man who started it all. In an exclusive interview with Payal Khandelwal of FE, Farhan Akhtar talks about his future plans in Bollywood as director and producer. Excerpts:

After three completely different films, what can the audience expect in the near future from you

Apart from directing the sequel of Don and a period drama called Voice of the Sky, this time around, I am going to be more active as a producer. There are two films coming from Excel Entertainment this year. One is called Kismat Talkies which will be directed by Reema Kagti (who directed Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd for us). My sister Zoya Akhtar will be directing the other film.

The dynamics of the film industry seem to have completely changed because of a shift in mindset that has been brought about by young filmmakers like you. What is it like working in an industry such as this

Change is an ongoing process and in Bollywood it happens every decade. It is not just limited to films, the change in trends can be seen across all fields. The mainstream film industry will keep going great guns as people become more and more serious about their work. Being part of an industry which combines the best of the young and the old is very invigorating for a filmmaker like me. Everyday is a learning process for me.

As a producer what do you think about co-production Do you think it enhances the value of a film Would you be interested in it

There are pros and cons to different production models. What you give is what you get. The success of a production model depends strictly on the project. With some films you can minimise the risk with co-production but there is no fixed rule. However, with every film you can maximise your capability with a proper production plan.

DonThe Chase Begins used impressive marketing techniques like releasing music on the digital platform and mobile games. What other new initiatives are you planning in the marketing department with your new films

We have a slew of unique marketing concepts lined up for the sequel of Don which cant be disclosed right now. Its too early for that. Films like Don and its sequel offer a platform where you can stretch the marketing activities because they lend themselves as brands. It cant be done through every film though.

After being a judge on TV for shows like Nach Baliye (Star One), does the small screen attract you in terms of providing content

Sure, why not I like doing things that are interesting and fresh. Thats where the challenge lies for me. I thrive on and like challenges. I dont approach television in terms of a larger medium versus a smaller medium. As long as it gives me satisfaction and people who I am working for are happy, I am game for it.