My AIDS films will ride on Bollywood hits: Mira Nair
Award-winning filmmaker Mira Nair plans to make a series of four films aimed at spreading awareness about AIDS and plans to attach them to Bollywood hits to reach out to more people.
For her the AIDS JaaGo project, Nair has collaborated with Avahan, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's India AIDS Initiative.
'They (films) are going to piggyback on Bollywood blockbusters and find the masses who are going to watch blockbusters. They will be permanently linked to A-grade Bollywood movies and going by the reach of Bollywood it will be shown in India and abroad,' Nair told reporters here Monday.
'It will be a part of the DVD if that can be worked out. In addition, we will have a one-hour film where the collection of the four films will be clubbed together along with the panel of directors speaking. And that will be showcased in a massive way on television and film festivals,' she added.
When asked what prompted her to venture into this field, she said: 'I came to it after an intimate loss but also because of the general fact that how terrible it is.'
She has picked up the choicest of filmmakers - Vishal Bhardwaj, Farhan Akhtar and Santosh Sivan - who each will make a 12-minute film, along with one by herself.
Bhardwaj has already finished his script for a thriller and would start casting.
'You need to have a good story to make a good film,' said Bhardwaj.
Sivan, who has roped in Prabhu Deva, will centre his film on the sufferings of a boy who suffers from the disease. He is going to shoot the film in Mysore.
Nair's 12-minute film is born out of a real life incident and would star Irrfan Khan, Shiney Ahuja, Raima Sen and Sameera Reddy.
'The films are expected to be complete by June 15. After that it will take us six to eight weeks to put them together. It would be ready to be shown from Sep 1 onwards.
'They are going to be low budgets and we are not making salaries out of these movies. Everyone will be paid but it will be a sort of token amount rather than the millions mostly make. The idea is not to make money but to make exciting cinema. It will look as good as other movies but it will not make people's pocket fatter.'
Nair said that if the series will be a success, she would continue it next year.
'If the series would be success there is a chance we could make another four films with other four directors next year and so that's the idea. I hope we continue to the series.
'The films are for the mass general audience and it will target youngsters too.'
For the distribution of the film, she said: 'I am depending on my personal relationships and people wanting to have business with us. The only absolute agreement I have is with UTV. I am depending on them to make it a permanent part of their blockbusters.
'Also, I plan to meet Manmohan Shetty of Adlabs. He is very much in solidarity with the idea. And I am also going to see Yash Chopra. They are the people I know and they have been told about it and I am confident they will agree because of the calibre of films we are going to give them.
'The onus lies on us and the actors to make the film more entertaining, unpredictable and exciting cinema rather than lecture or commercials. People will come to see blockbuster but would go home talking about our film.'