Jun 24, 2008

Money back offer from a movie producer

BANGALORE: SMS competitions, freebies, dinner with stars are all passe. Here comes the mother of all film promotion offers: claim back your money if you don’t like the film! Titled ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’, an all-out effort to bring audience back to the theatres, animation and film production company Colorchips India has put a money-back offer for their latest movie Mukhbiir. Directed by Mani Shankar, an established name in Bollywood with films such as 16 December, Rudraksh and Tango Charlie, Mukhbiir tells the story of a young informer. Youngster Sammir Dattani is in the lead, along with Suneil Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Sushant Singh and Om Puri. The confidence in the script and the cast has prompted the Hyderabad-based company to give such a big offer on their debut film. “We felt that we should do something different for Mukhbiir,” says Colorchips India chairman Sudhish Rambhothla. “We were not merely providing the funds, we were also providing creative inputs, completely involved in the entire process, right from the first draft of the script to the pack-up.” Price of a movie ticket is roughly divided into three parts, which goes to the producer, distributor and the exhibitor, respectively. Mr Rambhothla assures that the refund will not be the producer’s share alone. “Ticket price minus the taxes will be refunded to the viewer,” he says. “The offer is too large to be a marketing tactic or a publicity gimmick,” says director Mani Shankar. “It comes from the confidence that you have a film born out of an excellent idea, a well-executed script and solid performances. This is definitely for the first time in India, and probably in the world,” he guarantees. Pyramid Saimira, distributor of the movie, is planning to release about 350 screens on July 11. Apart from India, the film would also be released in the US, the UK, Middle-East and Malaysia, says the producers. “The ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ programme is the proof of the confidence we have in the venture. The movie will see director Mani Shankar bouncing back once again,” says Pyramid Saimira deputy general manager (content) Sudhir NR. “We’re planning to raise the number of screens as the film gradually garner audience.” Made on a budget of about Rs 8 crore, excluding the marketing expenses, each process of the film was well planned, says the producers. “It took more than 18 months for us to finish the entire process, with focus on the pre-production works where we charted out the best way to do every single process and had a tight audition for the cast. Sammir Dattani was chosen after auditioning about 100 youngsters,” says Mr Rambhothla. “Informers or spies are usually aged 19-24 years. The main character represents the unknown young informer, who gets killed in the end because he knows too much or is out of use. We wanted a youngster with experience, but had the feel of a fresher. Sammir fit the bill,” said Mani Shankar. Although a successful star in Kannada, Sammir is only 3-4 films old in Bollywood, none of which has given him a big break. “Mukhbiir, right from audition to shoot, was a completely different experience. The role given to me demanded much,” says Sammir. “The film was screened in the 10th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival and had some private screenings. The response was highly encouraging,” he said.

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