Critically acclaimed director, producer Samar Khan is known for his shows and films like Shaurya, The Test Case, Code M, and much recently Avrodh.
The journalist turned filmmaker is known for depicting the human side of armed forces, and their experience as soldiers of India in times of peace and war.
Samar Khan is currently working at Juggernaut Productions, a part of IN10 Media, as the Chief Operating Officer OTT Business.
In an exclusive conversation with IBTimes, Samar Khan spoke about his undying love to depict army officials on-screen, strategies that make the audiences binge-watch his shows, and his take on the recently passed guideline by the defence ministry to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), stating that producers based on the Army to seek a no-objection certificate (NOC).
Excerpts on the conversation
Your shows are based on real incidents, any specific reason?
I think it has to do with my training as a journalist at the start of my career, maybe that's why I am naturally drawn towards real stories or stories that find some resonance in the real world and what's happening around us.
Most of the shows depict armed forces, any particular reason?
I have done Shaurya, The Test Case with Nimrat Kaur and now Avrodh. The reason behind going back to Army was my days at National Defence Academy where I studied for three years but never passed out because of indiscipline. I was always fascinated by the stories inside army cantonments and it is also a fact that the way they live and their ecosystem is not known to most people. So that also inspired me to tell stories which are from that world.
We always see armed forced in films just saving the nation or fighting at the war front. More than patriotism, I want to evoke human emotions and patriotism is a part of that. I want people to understand the difficult conditions in which these people function.
Was Amit Sadh the first choice for the Avrodh, how was it working with him?
He was the only choice, working with him is like working with a mad man and he is so passionate about his craft and about his role that it pushes everyone to strive for excellence.
Are you involved in the casting process?
Yes, more or less I am involved in the casting process. It also depends from character to character.
The Defence Ministry recently wrote to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), stating that producers of movies or web series based on the Army should seek a no-objection certificate (NOC) before telecasting them. Do you think the decision is fair enough?
As of now, only guidelines have been laid. I believe that creativity is subjective. Everyone is cognizant of the fact that the armed forces are a very important part of our life. I've made a lot of shows on the armed forces. All my stories have thoroughly researched and what I know is army officials are very cooperative and receptive to scripts. They are sensitive about the way the army is portrayed on-screen because they serve the nation. We as filmmakers will have to be sensitive towards how we portray men in uniform
Lockdown strategy to keep the audience booked and entertained
The biggest challenge in the web is to keep the story pacy and edgy with enough hook points to force the audience to binge-watch the entire season. There is a lot of web content around, but only those who have the USP will break ahead. We work very hard to get the true story and creativity for all our endeavours.