Over 20 leading Indian filmmakers, including Anees Bazmee, Raj & DK, and Nitesh Tiwari, on Wednesday announced ‘Newcomers’, an initiative to mentor new talent across various fields in the film industry. Spearheaded by Jio Studios and Mahaveer Jain, the programme was launched on the day two of the 2022 edition of FICCI Frames. Maisie Williams Talks About Traumatic Relationship With Her Father ‘Ever Since I Can Remember, I’ve Really Struggled Sleeping’.
The event was also attended by Ram Madhvani, Imtiaz Ali, Abhishek Sharma, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, and Amit Sharma. Calling the initiative, “a great opportunity” for the film fraternity, Tiwari said he is looking forward to sharing learnings from his filmmaking journey with budding creators. Predators: Tom Hardy to Narrate Forthcoming Sky Original Nature Series Co-Produced by Netflix.
“There was a time when somebody believed in us. Now, it is payback time,” added the Dangal director. Ali, known for films like Jab We Met and series “She”, said the community of filmmakers are “believers” who are in showbiz to narrate stories. “We are here because we wanted to make stories. Films are the most expensive form of contemporary art. But, we are believers. We are happy to work with people who are not known to the audience. So, there should be an initiative,” he said.
Bazmee, whose latest directorial Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 made Kartik Aaryan a bona fide star, said an actor transforms into a star gradually over the years. “If someone is a huge star today, (let’s not forget) they were newcomers one day. After a really long time, an actor becomes a star,” the director said.
Raj & DK, the creators of the superhit series The Family Man and producers of “Stree”, said they decided to back aspiring talent because they didn’t want budding artists to suffer the way they did when they were starting out.
“None of our films were done on schedule. Every film of ours has a story like that. The stories we were picking were off mainstream, we went for the actor over the star in a way.
Every film till ‘Stree’ was stalled. We were nobodies, nobody was behind us. outsiders,” Raj said. DK, the other half of the filmmaking duo, said they turned producers to fire up their projects because they didn’t have any backing.
“But, none of us are newcomers now. We are now going to make films with newcomers…” he added. Aarya creator Madhvani said he is “scared” of the idea of mentorship and hopes to use the ‘Newcomers’ initiative as a mutual benefit arrangement. “If they (new talent) learn something from me, that’s good. If I learn something from them, that will be great,” he said.
Abhishek Sharma, best known for the acclaimed satire film “Tere Bin Laden”, said the programme is about not letting the “next guy” wait in line for long.
“Content is king and it will rule, irrespective of the face. It’s not about stars but about stories not left to wait. So that the next guy gets to narrate their story.”
Sharing similar sentiment, director Amit Sharma revealed that after the success of his 2018 film “Badhaai Ho”, veteran actors Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao became the busiest actors in the film industry. The film also starred Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, and the late Surekha Sikri.
“When Ayushmann read the script, he said Gajraj and Neena ji were the heroes of the film. And, he was right. Now, they are the most busy actors in the fraternity. So, content is king,” he said. Rajkumar Hirani, Rohit Shetty, Sukumar, Ashutosh Gowariker, Kabir Khan, Gauri Shinde and R Balki, Aanand L Rai, A R Murugadoss, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Ali Abbas Zafar, Siddharth Anand, Jagan Shakti, and Vishnuvardhan are also part of the consortium of acclaimed filmmakers who have lent their support to the programme.
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