Heading the realm at Mini Homes, Mansi Bagla has started her own film production house called Mini Films along with renowned Director G. Ashok. The versatile duo has purchased the rights of three super hit south films, which will be remade in Hindi. The Bollywood film will be a remake of the 2017 super hit Telugu romantic comedy - Ninnu Kori. With this, Mansi will also be debuting as a Director, under the mentorship of G. Ashok.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India, Mansi Bagla spoke at length about her collaboration with G. Ashok, donning the hat of a director and what newness will Telugu film Ninnu Kori bring for the Bollywood audience and more.
Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about your collaboration with G. Ashok?
I would like to firstly say that G Ashok Sir is a great human being. He is extremely sharp yet very down to earth. Our collaboration is to make good cinema for which we have purchased remake rights of a few superhit south films. We are aggressively working on them. I would add that he is very spiritual and simple, there is so much to learn from him, I'm really lucky to have his support.
What was the discussion/thought process behind acquiring the rights of those three South Indian films?
I liked watching these films and I felt they had a universal language which the rest of the country will also resonate with. In fact, when I was watching these films I could also envisage the directors best suited for these remakes. Over a period of time, I have met many directors and heard narrations so I'm well versed with their strengths. These films will be rolled under my home production banner- Mini Films. Pre-production has started for one film, the rest is still in scripting stages. In fact, when you embark on a remake it is a fairly difficult proposition, one has to keep the soul of the film alive yet adapt to cultural sensibilities.
Why did you start with Ninnu Kori?
Ninu kori is a love story and I can relate to this story and I feel so will everyone. Being a Mumbaikar and growing up amidst the culture here, I felt a Marathi adaptation would be best. It came to me naturally. It would also be a tribute of sorts to the city that has given me so much.
OTT and films have become debatable, which medium would you prefer to release your movie? And why?
Films are for theatres, that is the primary medium. As civilizations grow there will be discoveries and innovations, we adapt, change and move along. When television became a phenomenon theatres learnt to co-exist. Similarly, OTT will have takers but patrons of theatres will remain. The size of the screen has been getting smaller with the passage of time but 70 MM has stayed and will stay. In India especially if you look at the infrastructure and consumer behaviour, in smaller towns there is perhaps just one screen, people flock to it as respite. Digital is trickling down, it is being adopted but not a replacement, it is more like a supplement. Going to a theatre is not just to watch a film- it is an 'outing' which digital can't provide. What digital can do- theatres can't. It is like a new age media vs traditional print media.
Have you decided on the actors that you will choose for the film?
Yes, I have them in mind. I'm approaching them professionally. All actors say the concept is a hero. So I have a hero with me (the concept) while I am the director. We will approach the actors who can do justice to the script and someone who feels compelled to play the part. Off course business dynamics will have to be also integrated carefully but performance will always be of paramount importance.
As a director, what newness will you bring on board?
I can't make tall claims here, I believe I would approach this in an organized manner but so have many. As far as newness, it may be a remake but it will be addressed afresh. I don't intend to make a frame to frame translation, which does not work. People are different in different parts of the country and one must know one's audience before embarking on this journey. Hence it will be a new film altogether. I can't give away the details of the script right now but I can promise that it will be a fresh and entertaining film.
How is the preparation going so far? How far has the pre-production reached?
We have just acquired and completed the paperwork that in itself is a lengthy process however we have also started preparing for the first film. We will reveal the title soon. We have started working on the casting, budgeting, scripting and location recce. We are moving at a breakneck speed but the ongoing pandemic is slowing us down sometimes which is unavoidable. I always keep a Plan B for restructuring and revising a bit. The film is set in London, so a huge chunk of the work will happen overseas, I'm waiting for the situation to revive, whatever else can be done here in Mumbai is moving the full throttle. It will be foolhardy to take the plunge immediately, the whole world is on trial right now. We will do our backend to perfection which I believe is half the battle won. Once everything opens up we will start the shoot.