Well-known film producer and director, Kunal Kohli, is quite excited that his long-delayed, Jennifer Winget – starring romantic flick, Phir Se, will finally see the light of day, albeit on digital. It will stream on Netflix.
“Today, digital is a very important source of revenue, as the cost of theatrical releases has gone up a lot, making it commercially unviable, especially for smaller films-makers. Also, digital gives you a huge potential audience base, all over the world. Internationally, digital is giving theatrical a huge run for its money. Brad Pitt’s films are being released on Netflix International. This change must also come to India.”
Did the copy right issue, involving the writer, Jyoti Kapoor, also delay the film?
“No, we had an out of court settlement. But as I said above, it was more a release issue, which held me back. I am glad that, in the meantime, Netflix came into the picture, and we could work out a mutually beneficial deal.” The film also stars Sumona Chakravarti, Kanwaljeet Singh, Sushmita Mukherjee and Kunal himself, as the male lead.
Remind him that Netflix is a paid OTT platform, and most people may not want to pay Rs 500 a month for subscription, and he replies,“It is still cheaper than watching a film in the multiplex today, where, given the high prices of tickets, popcorn and parking, a single person ends up paying not less than 750 bucks.”
“And internet is not only Netflix.There are a range of other players, like ALTBalaji and Amazon Prime, which are also offering differentiated and classy content.”
Kunal, who has also judged Nach Baliye, is open to making web series as well. “I am in talks for a few; let’s see. The different kind of storyboards available there are a boon for creative content-makers.”
Do you feel that lack of censorship will further fuel your creative juices? “I do not believe in the on-going censor-board-bashing bandwagon. The entire panel, including Chief, Prasoon Joshi, is full of sensible people, who know their job.”
In closing, Kunal was full of praise for Jennifer. “She is a very good actor, and our on-screen chemistry has also come out well.”