Nitesh Tiwari: Unfortunate that film’s budget depends on star not script

Dangal fame director Nitesh Tiwari, who has worked with A-list actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, says the trend of deciding a film’s budget on the basis of the star rather than a script is an unfortunate scenario.

It is an unfortunate scenario in our country that the film’s budget is decided not on the basis of the script but on the basis of who is starring in it, Tiwari said during a panel discussion on the position of children’s films in India and the way forward at the ongoing 48th International Film Festival of India here on Wednesday.

A same script with a bigger star will have a higher production budget but the same script with a so-called lesser known star, would have lesser budget. Because producers in their heads think about the market recovery, he added.

The director, who has also made children-based films like Chillar Party and Bhoothnath Returns, pointed out that the whole thing trickles down to the budget of a children’s film.

Tiwari went on to break down the problems.

There are two big problems as to why children’s films are not being made. One is commercial point of view which is the producers and inclination to make it (commercially successful). The other thing which I think is a bigger problem is from creative point of view.

There aren’t too many people who want to make children’s film,” he said while citing an example of how no one wanted to make Chillar Party and he along with Vikas Bahl had to dive into the direction aspect of showbiz reluctantly.

We were reluctant directors. We never wanted to be directors. We had to make it because we were so much in love with ‘Chillar Party’, added Tiwari.

The director, who asserts that he will continue his endeavour of giving children a special space in his films, added: “It also comes down to the commerce of it. Unless and until you have many examples of children films, we won’t have many producers coming to back the projects.”

But he has a solution.

This does not mean that we should not make children’s film. If a star starts acting and voluntarily saying okay I am willing to do a children’s film in two years’ like ‘Mr. India’ and ‘Krrish’. There can be more but bigger names (have to) come forward and play a role in promoting and encouraging children’s films, said the director.

His last directorial Dangal — which was a biopic on a wrestler and how he trains his daughter to win a gold medal in wrestling — broke records not only in India, but worldwide.

And Tiwari says he is more inclined towards biopics.

Biopics tend to inspire more. Because when people consume the biopics they feel that it happened in real life rather than a piece of fiction. So if you have the knowledge that somebody has done it, you have the feeling that I can also do it.”

Tiwari concluded the session saying: Stories choose me and I don’t choose stories.

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