Remember Kevi Rite Jaish? The peppy, unconventional urban – Gujarati movie that became a topic of discussion and a must-see for practically everyone who understood Gujarati? We meet the soul behind the movie – Abhishek Jain. Here’s the story of the storyteller who made urban Gujarati movies, a thing.
Abhishek was born and brought up in Ahmedabad, with his roots in Jodhpur.
“My mother encouraged me to pursue performing arts. At 9, I began doing Gujarati plays. I was then expected to join the family business so I decided to pursue the retail management course from Mumbai”
However, for Abhishek, there was always a void. Film-making just filled it. The need to bring forth issues that matter in a compelling way and making an impact drove him to enrol in India’s one of the leading film making institutes.
“I enrolled at Whistling Woods and that was it. It opened the doors for me in the bling-y industry of cinema. When I began, I didn’t even know who Yash Raj, Yash Chopra or Subhash Ghai were. I was made fun of for my ignorance to the industry I was so passionate about.”
For Abhishek, films were always about actors and never the directors or the producers.
“They were never on stage! For 7-8 months, I refused to interact with people at college since I felt inferior and illiterate in the glamorous world of cinema. I spent a lot of time in library, watching lot of films and reading as much as I could on the same”
After completing his film-making studies, Abhishek assisted big shots like Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Subhash Ghai in Saawariya and Yuvraj. In a pursuit to fill the void, Abhishek decided to take a leap of some years and shifted back to Ahmedabad.
“CineMan, my film-making venture, came into the picture in February 2010. We began with the idea of venturing into the advertising field in order to gather enough funds to make a feature film. So we began with approaching NGOs and requested them to let us make a video. We wanted to prove ourselves in the market and also understand how well we as a team are. We made three advertisements at peanut price and it went well.”
And then onwards, there was no looking back. The team proceeded further with the aim to provide an exposure to the brands established in the town for which every time they needed to rush to Mumbai.
“We were determined to deliver things of good quality at an affordable price”
Abhishek constantly focused on building a robust team that would stick through all odds.
“We are all young, passionate and have a go-getter attitude. Being young comes with a limitation of lack of commitment. However, it is a long way for us and we are learning how to handle things with maturity”
CineMan has already brought out two feature films, the last hit film – ‘Bey Yaar’ which successfully ran in the theatres for 53 weeks and ‘Kevi Rite Jaish’ which took Gujarati cinema scenes by a storm. It was also screened in several countries overseas. Interestingly with ‘Bey Yaar’ Abhishek Jain brought the concept of in-film branding in Gujarati cinema.
“Initially, the brands were bit apprehensive about the idea. It was not that they were not convinced about the fact that whether we will do justice to their brand or not but they were apprehensive of the fact that whether the amount they are paying will be worth it or not.”
Seven years down the lane, CineMan contributed two major hits to the Gujarat film industry. Abhishek Jain talks about CineMan’s future plans.
“We had a five year plan when we began and we achieved it. Ad films and television commercials are the core areas that we will keep concentrating on. I want to break a perception that everything cool thing related to entertainment industry can only be done in Mumbai”
Talking about his challenges, Abhishek says,
“I think the most difficult part is to have a fair balance of creativity and a business-mind to survive in entertainment business.”
The 28 year old director is already a role model for a number of young film makers; he highlights the fact that if there’s a will, there’s a way.
“I think the only way one can succeed in this super-competitive industry is by making films and evolving out of it”, he concludes.
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.