Journalist, marketing, branding and film production: What makes producer Rahul Mittra a cruncher?

“Every mediaperson from my generation is bound to know me. After all, I was the most hated,” smiles film producer Rahul Mittra, who started the initiative at a major newspaper whereby editorial spaces of the publication were monetised for brand endorsements. In his long career of being a scribe, marketing professional, brand expert, film producer and director Mittra says that it is the film industry that gives him the best high.

Producing films like ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster’, ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’, ‘Bullett Raja’, ‘Revolver Rani’, ‘Sarkar 3’, ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3’, ‘Cabaret’ and recently ‘Torbaaz’, starring Sanjay Dutt, Mitra stresses that his edge has been his eye for good content.

“No matter what, if you have a solid story, a major part of the battle is won. When I started out, cinemascape was riddled by NRI stories and stars. Huge sets and foreign locations were important ingredients to making any film appeal to a wide audience. I am grateful that we could break that mould with ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster’,” he tells IANS on the sidelines of the ongoing Indus Valley International Film Festival in the city.

Releasing ‘Torbaaz’ on OTT, much before the pandemic struck, post which many producers were forced to look at the digital medium, Mittra is quite content with the film’s reception and the profit it made.

“Over the last nine months, I have developed three subjects primarily for OTT. This includes a big political thriller,” says the producer, who is a brand advisor to the state of Arunachal Pradesh and also provides consultancy to multiple film festivals.

For him, the role of the producer does not start and end with pumping money.

“I get involved in all departments — right from writing, location hunting, casting to marketing. By the way, I am acting in several films too.”

Pleased that more tier-two cities are getting to host film festivals, he feels that the same not only inspires budding filmmakers there but also gives a chance to directors, producers and actors to connect to a diverse audience.

“They are a perfect platform that brings together the audiences with makers — thereby closing many gaps.”

Even as crime thrillers have been ruling the digital medium over the past two decades, Mittra feels that no trend will survive if the audience feels they have had enough.

“Remember, the remote control is very powerful. And it is in the audience’s hands. I have always believed that rooted stories — that boast honesty will do well. The intention of the makers has to be crystal clear and they cannot afford to take the audience for granted. The latter is too intelligent for that,” concludes Mittra.

(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at sukant.d@ians.in)

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