'For me success is not 100 crores at the box office'

Sep 13, 2017, 14:33 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Rabbi will be hitting Cinema halls across the country on the 15th of September. Rabbi is a satire focusing on the journey of a boy who wants to become a music star. The movie deals with an important social question "Is Music forbidden in Islam?". Rabbi TheFilm is presented by young enterprenuer’s Jitesh Kumar and Mujeeb Ul hassan who have teamed up together with a mission to promote content oriented and sensible cinema of India and take it to international platforms.

RabbiTheFilm stars "Babumoshai Bandooqbaaz"’s fame sensational Bidita Bag in the female lead along with new comer Furqan Merchant, Raghubir Yadav, Dolly Ahluwalia, Brijendra Kala, Virendra Saxena, Shoib Nikash Shah and Manini Mishra essaying important key characters. The film is been produced by Rahat Kazmi Films, Amar Chand Motion Pictures and Zeba Sajid film and co produced by Tariq Khan productions and Mediamark International Corp. Canada .

Today we have the pleasure of interviewing the presenters Jitesh Kumar and Mujeeb al Hasan.

1. How does it feel that finally, the release date of Rabbi is less than a week away?
Answer Jitesh– Any Producer, Director, Actor, Presenter makes a movie for the Friday. When the movie is released only then the work of producer/presenter is successful. I consider this a huge success for the entire team that we have been able to make it and on 15th of September will be a day of great joy for us.

2.You have taken the tough path of promoting and releasing content oriented cinema? Why?
Answer Mujib – Our target has been Reality. It is something we feel needs to be brought back to Bollywood. In order to show reality we take up projects with good subjects. Big banners with big stars make movies all the time but how many of these movies speak about the truth? The real society is not seen in these movies.

Answer Jitesh – We try to bring out Reality, Subjectivity and Society in our movies. The masses should be able to associate themselves with the movie. It is imperative that they connect to cinema. "Mantostaan" was a similar project for us and we were privileged to be internationally appreciated for the same.

3. How does it feel to work with Rahat Kazmi?
Answer Jitesh – Honestly speaking, we don’t work with Rahat. To me Rahat is not a Director, Producer, Lyricist or a movie person. He is Family. We sit together regularly to discuss future prospects. He picks great stories. We support him in his ventures by playing whatever role we can from time to time.

Answer Mujib – We all have a common goal and we all dream the same dream so it is very easy working since our efforts go towards the same purpose.

4. How was your journey to cannes film festival for Mantostaan?
Answer Jitesh – This journey has been truly fruitful. As a presenter, I have always focused on Subject. We don’t even have a budget when we begin but based on the story and requirements we do a backward calculation. Then we go into production. Our aim is to make a Good film in a smaller budget and promote it globally. What we have seen is that internationally Good Cinema is far more appreciated. They don’t think only about the budget but the message the movie is trying to give.

Answer Mujib – I believe our movies should reach everyone be it through Theatres, TV, Netflix or youtube. The message we are trying to send should reach every person.

For me Success is not 100 crores on the box office, Success is to reach 100 million people and touch their hearts. If I can succeed at that I will feel I have done a good job.

5. What inspired you to get involved with Rabbi?
Answer Jitesh – Well the first thing that struck me was the Bold initiative. Staying in a metro city and seeing the Khan’s rule Bollywood we might thing that this question "Is music forbidden in Islam" is irrelevant. But when we peal the covers. And go deeper and explore the smaller towns and cities, these thoughts still prevail. We want this movie to be a bearer of message to them that you must try. Don’t give up. Our hope is that talent from smaller towns will emerge more and sooner.

Answr Mujib – Like we said our purpose is very clear, to take Indian cinema to the Global level. With more time and work in the industry we are becoming more familiar with What the world wants to see! Our efforts have taken us to Cannes twice and many other places across the globe. Rabbi is one such project which we thought was of the international standard.

6. How was the interaction with the cast and crew?
Answer Jitesh – This cast just like I mentioned for Rahat, are family to us. We gel very well with all of them. All the veterans are outstanding actors and all of us are very comfortable with each other.

Answer Mujib – The environment is very transparent. While making such a meaningful film it is necessary to ensure that there is complete transparency. This allows the actors to understand the concept better and their work is critical to the film.

Bidita has played the lead actress. She was new when we picked her. She was fitting the role of a conservative muslim girl very nicely and since she was not seen in any major Bollywood projects till then she would bring a freshness to the film.

I would like to congratulate her on the success of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz and wish her all the luck for the future.

7. Music is instrumental in this film, which would you say is your favourite song?
Answer Jitesh – Well definitely music forms a critical part of this movie. All the 4 songs are of very different genres and styles. From lyrics to the style nothing is common in the 4 songs. I personally like them all. If I had to pick one I would probably pick "Dhola". It has a very soothing tune and lyrics.

Answer Mujib – I think Amir Ali has done a fabulous job with the music. Being so young his talent is exceptional. I am sure he is going to go a long way with this talent and passion.

8.What are your plans for the future?
Answer Jitesh – We plan to work on similar content oriented cinema even in the future. Our film Side A Side B premiered in Cannes will be hitting theatres in early 2018.

Answer Mujib – We have two more projects coming up after this. We are currently still working on them at the initial stages.

9. What is your message to Movie makers?
Answer Jitesh – Work on making movies for international audiences.

Answer Mujib – Keep working towards your goals. We have come to this industry with a view to explore and discover new talent. We believe in giving chances to those who deserve them.

There are many film makers and story writers in different parts of India. Their work is of the international standard but doesn’t get recognised because it is not seen many times. Their resources are limited and they find it hard to connect to the big production houses. We are here to find such talent and support them in their endeavour of taking movies to people.

The film is Produced by Rahat Kazmi films, Amar chand motion pitures and Zeba sajid films, co produced by Tariq Khan Productions and Mediamark international corp. Canada. Rabbi is releasing on 15th septemer in cinemas

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