Bollywood has always been alluring millions of people to the glam town to try their luck in the industry. But this time, B-town has welcomed a well-known US businessman to get himself a new identity in Bollywood. We are talking about producer Neil Patel, who is producing Konkona Sen Sharma's maiden directorial 'A Death In The Goonj' starring Vikrant Massey, Om Puri, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey, 'Neerja' actor Jim Sarbh in key roles.
The movie, which will hit the screens in India on June 2, happens to be a complete family drama, with Konkona's directorial skills set to win over the hearts as she display a perfect blend of emotions and passion.
While the trailer of 'A Death In The Goonj' is quite intriguing, so is the story of its producer Neil Patel.
Neil, who was a well established business man in US, had admitted to be fascinated by Indian cinema during his college days and wanted to be a part of it someday.
And now with 'A Death In The Goonj', he is indeed fulfilling his dream and is way too excited about it. In fact, the movie has received rave reviews in several international film festivals including 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, 21st Busan International Film Festival, 13th South Asian International Film Festival etc.
In this exclusive interview with News Nation, we bring you the journey of newbie producer Neil Patel in the city of dreams
* You have been a renowned businessman in US, so what allured you to Bollywood?
About 10 years ago, I was in college and I had seen only three Bollywood film in my entire life. Then all of a sudden I got in touch with my roommates again then I Picked up my interest for Bollywood. At that time, there were movies such as 'Hera Pheri', 'Aankhen'. After that I actually moved to India for acting. I even went to an acting school and I realised that there are a lot of things I need to work on. So acting didn't work out and at that time I returned back to US.
* Since you have no prior experience in film production and you belong to an entirely different industry, was it difficult for you to adjust in B-town?
It has been partially difficult to adjust here. The professionalism and the working in Bolylwood and in India in general is a lot more relaxed that to what I am used to where everything happens excatly on the time as you say it happens. But the easier part of it is that doing businss is same everywhere once you understand how to run a business, a lot of logic of business applies to any other industry. So it was a mixed experience.
* Tell us something about 'A Death In The Goonj'
A lot of people can relate to this story. The male protagonist of the film has been antagonised by the rest of the family. He has been bullied at times, served as like he is the outside man looking in. And I think at some point in everyone's life, we have that feeling whether at the top of the industry or at the bottom, we always feel we are on the outside looking in. So we can kind of relate to the character. The movie is a simple story and the same time deeply emotional. You can feel his journey and you feel for the boy. Vikrant Massey (the lead actor) has done a great job of really showing his up emotions.
* With 'A Death In The Goonj', you got a chance to work with actors like Konkona Sen Sharma, Kalki Koechlin, Om Puri etc, how was the experience?
You can't beat this experience. I mean these are what I think some of the true actors as people say. They want content and they always deliver content. You know when these people are in a film, you are more likely to get a very good story and one of the movie that you wish that all other movie were like this.
* 'A Death In The Goonj' is the maiden project for your production house 'Moh Maaya Gilms', what are you expecting from the movie?
I don't have any box office projections, honestly, at the moment. I think the reviews I expect are to be very good, based on from the earlier reviews we have already got in the last couple of days and some of the early reviews the film got like the one when we went to TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), New York Indian Film Festival and Jio MAMI, we got really good reviews there. This is defintely going to be a word of mouth kind of film. We don't have the A-listers, the massive print and advertising expenses that other films can afford. So we are really relying on the word of mouth.
* What other projects are you working on after this?
I am looking to tie up with a well known director for a possible development. I am working to acquire international rights of some of the Hollywood movie for their Bollywood remake.
* Who are your top three favorite actors in Bollywood?