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Bollywood filmmakers taking a big risk...

Some filmmakers are lucky to get a second lease of life, in spite of delivering duds as their debut films...

In an industry that generally doesn’t think twice before casting off a failure, a bunch of film-makers were fortunate enough to get producers to invest in a second film, in spite of their first film being a disaster at box office.

Bhushan Patel
Bhushan Patel

Debut film: Starting out as a cameraman in Bollywood, Patel worked in the industry for nearly two decades before getting his first break with the 2012 film, 1920 Evil Returns. A flop.
Second chance: His second film, Ragini MMS2, released last week, and has done well so far at the box office. Sanjay Gupta has now signed him on to direct a film; a supernatural thriller.

Sabbir Khan
Sabbir Khan

Debut film: Khan’s first film was the ambitious Kambakht Ishq in 2009. It starred Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor and had cameos by Hollywood stars like Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards. The film was a big disaster.
Second chance: His upcoming film, Heropanti, stars debutant Tiger Shroff, and is slated to release in May this year.

Navdeep Singh
Navdeep Singh

Debut film: An ad filmmaker, Singh’s directorial debut, Manorama Six Feet Under (2007), was appreciated but it failed to make an impact at the BO.
Second chance: He is now making NH10, starring Anushka Sharma and Neil Bhoopalam. Sharma is also the film’s producer.

Rensil D’Silva
Rensil D'Silva

Debut film: The writer of films like Rang De Basanti and Aks turned director with Kurbaan (2009) that starred Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. The film didn’t do well at the box office.
Second chance: He has been signed on to direct Ungli that has Emran Hashmi, Sanjay Dutt and Randeep Hooda in lead roles. He also directed the TV series 24 that was produced by Anil Kapoor.

Kaushik Ghatak
Kaushik Ghatak

Debut film: He has been associated with the television industry since 1999. He has directed serials like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. The 2008 film, Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi, marked his directorial debut and received lukewarm response at the BO.
Second chance: His second film, Samrat &Co, stars Rajeev Khandelwal and Madalasa Sharma, and is slated to release soon.

Sai Kabir
Sai Kabir

Debut film: He made his debut with the film Chemistry, starring Soha Ali Khan and Shreyas Talpade. The film is yet to see the light of day.
Second chance: Kabir’s next film is Revolver Rani that has Kangna Ranaut playing the titular role. The film is scheduled to release in April this year.

They made it
These now successful filmmakers’ first films were box-office duds:
>> Rohit Shetty’s first film, titled Zameen (2003), starred Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan was a flop.

Rohit Shetty

>> Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost (2003) was Apoorva Lakhia’s first film and it starred Abhishek Bachchan and Lara Dutta. A big flop.

Apoorva Lakhia

>> Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s debut, Khamoshi (1996), starring Salman Khan and Manisha Koirala, won critical acclaim but it didn’t set the box office on fire.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali

>> Abbas Mustan’s first film, Agneekaal (1990) was unsuccessful at BO.
>> David Dhawan’s debut film, Jurrat (1989) was a flop.
>> Anthony D'Souza’s debut film, Blue, featuring Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt, was a disaster at the BO.0

Expert speak

>> Trade analyst Vikas Mohan says that if a director has a good relationship with his actors, he can continue to make films despite delivering flops. “Today, actors rule the industry and if a director can convince an actor that he / she can do a good job, they will get more chances.”

>> Producer Ramesh Taurani recollects how he gave Raj Kumar Santoshi another chance though the latter had given two flops in a row (Family and Halla Bol). “We had him direct Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani which was a big hit. We believed in his talent and that’s the reason why we signed him on. There are times when filmmakers go wrong, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve another chance.”

>> Trade analyst Taran Adarsh points out that there are several reasons why a film fails at the box office and producers do not lose faith in a director so easily.

“Producers want to work with people they are comfortable with. Vashu Bhagnani signed Sajid Khan to direct Humshakals, despite Khan’s Himmatwala debacle. When you look at the star cast, you can tell that actors too are ready to work with him (Khan). Similarly, Vijay Krishna Acharya’s Tashan was a flop, but he directed Aamir Khan in Dhoom 3. It’s only a string of failures that pose a big problem,” he says.

>> Producer Vashu Bhagnani echoes the sentiment, “One man does not make a hit or a flop, and it is really unfair to blame the director alone. Besides, work in this industry is driven by inter-personal rapport.”

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