Bollywood and Hollywood are terms known to most of us. But Dhollywood? Hardly anyone knows of it. Well, Dhollywood is the informal term for the Gujarati Film Industry. The name is derived from Dhol, which is used widely across Gujarat in festivals and has a deep social connect with the Gujarati’s. And the Gujarati Film Industry is also called as Gollywood, with reference to Gujarat. So Dhollywood or the Gollywood has been in existence since 1932 and is probably the most underrated vernacular film industry in our country. There have been over one thousand movies in Dhollywood until now, which is quite a huge number for a vernacular film industry with a target audience of just a few Crore people, but the industry doesn’t enjoy the Vogue like that of its counterparts Tollywood and Sandalwood.
The trend seems to be changing from the past 3-4 years. The Urban Gujarati has started watching the Gujarati movies in the cinema, which was not seen until few years ago. Also, the youth has found a ‘cool’ factor in these movies which is a positive indication as far as the furtherance of this industry is concerned. Moreover, states outside Gujarat have been releasing Gujarati movies and many of them have experienced ‘House Full’ commencement. One recent entrant to Dhollywood has been the much talked about movie “Bas Ek Chance”. It released on the 25th of September, 2015.
Today in my blog, I bring to you all Mr. Kirtan Patel, the Director of this movie. I got in conversation with him and this is what he had to tell about his journey and how ‘Bas Ek Chance’ happened.
Me: Tell me about your journey to “Bas Ek Chance”.
Mr. Patel: I was a Bio-Tech student and later went on to pursue MBA, but I always had a strong affinity and passion towards Film-Making. Since about 4-5 years now, I have been making short films and ads. Making my own feature film was no less than a state of reverie. My dream started taking its shape in 2012 when I penned down the first draft of “Bas Ek Chance” in the year 2012. Over the next two years, there were multiple revisions to it. Ultimately, on 26th September 2014, I had the reappraised version of script with me and I was all set to shoot the movie. And well, the movie was released exactly a year after it, on the 25th September 2015.
Me: That’s fabulous! Well, I am coming up with a novel which has the “Log Kya Kahenge” phrase of our society along the central theme. You have braved this phrase and made your way as a successful Director. How was the opposition from the family and the society in your journey and how did you react to it?
Mr. Patel: My family has always been supportive. They have believed in my dreams and encouraged me at all stages. Yes there had been several hurdles and lows in my journey in the form of societal objections and other strenuous situations, but with my determination and will power, I did not succumb to it.
Me: What motivated you all the time in the movie making process?
Mr. Patel: That feeling of my own story making it to the big screen was a great motivation, and that cannot be expressed in words.
Me: How did the idea of this story hit your mind?
Mr. Patel: While I was in Mumbai, I saw a lot of my friends and colleagues struggling in the cinema space. A lot of aspiring film makers and actors had a tough time there and this was the basis for my story of “Bas Ek Chance”.
Me: Describe “Bas Ek Chance” in one word.
Mr. Patel: Inspiring. I want that every youngster watches this movie and makes their career in the field of their choice. I want them to believe in the power of their dreams.
Me: Which has been the most difficult character in the movie for you?
Mr. Patel: I would not say that a character is a difficulty for a director. Every character for me was fun to deal with. However, I am very close to the character of the Hero because the story revolves around him and I had to take special care that nothing goes wrong. Because one wrong move in the actor’s imagery and the movie goes for a toss!
Me: What do awards mean to you?
Mr. Patel: I am a passionate film maker and my sole purpose of making a movie is to pass on a message to the audience. Awards, if any, are just a motivator – but not the sole aim of my movie.
Me: When do we see you in Bollywood?
Mr. Patel: Presently I am working on my next project which is a Gujarati movie. Probably after that, I will debut in Bollywood.
Me: Your message to the society – aspiring actors, directors and the parents of these!
Mr. Patel: I would urge parents to let their children pursue their passion and let them decide their own goals. Parents should support and guide their kids, and not enforce anything. And I would not restrict my message to just aspiring actors and directors – my message to all youngsters is that hard work is a MUST and whatever field you choose, give your 100% effort. Afterall, that is what matters!
So yes, this was my discussion with Mr. Kirtan Patel. He is very friendly and a very humble human. The reviews of his movie have been fantastic till now and I am excited to watch it tomorrow! The discussion with him was very enlightening and I will surely put the extracts of it in my upcoming novel.
Blog Editing – The Rahasya AM