Mumbai has given me everything: Resul Pookutty
Oscar winner Resul Pookutty on turning producer and helping create his first film on his city
Once upon a time sound designers were barely in the public eye. Resul Pookutty’s Oscar win helped changed the picture! However, the bearded gentleman doesn’t like to harp on his professional specialty.
Instead, he’s more than willing to talk about turning co-producer with ID — an indie film about Mumbai and its citizens which he has co-produced with fellow FTII colleagues like Rajeev Ravi, Madhu Neelakandan, Sunil Babu and B Ajithkumar — directed by fellow FTII graduate and friend Kamal KM. In a candid chat, the Cochin-born Resul talks about cinema and the city.
What does Mumbai stand for you?
I see it changing every single day. That’s the case with almost all the cosmopolitan cities but the core remains the same. For example, the kids who tap on your car window to sell you books will be selling something else one month later. The economics change but the people remain the same.
So your debut production is a tribute…
Yes, it is. There’s no political agenda in it. This city has given me everything and taught me so much. The film carries elements I felt when I first moved here. It’s a realistic effort.
Do you think there is an audience for such films?
Of course, there is! We’ve been underestimating our audiences for so long. Our conviction that we — the filmi folks — successfully gauge what people ‘need to see’ has to change.
What influenced your decision to become a producer?
Kamal came up with this story and I, along with some other FTIIians of our batch, decided to helm it. As a producer, I can be part of films I always wanted to make. Being a film student, you have this very idealist view about the world but after you enter the industry, you calm down. With this film, I find myself in a position to take forward that dream. There are challenges but you can tackle them with one-mindedness.
Which was the biggest challenge?
I think there is an organised structure when it comes to making a film. You can’t just go ahead and make a film. But we had a different approach. We didn’t want to simply ‘make’ this film. We needed to. This story is a reflection of time we live in and the society we’ve created. So the biggest challenge was to stick to the idea of purity.
So where does the business angle come in?
There’s none, as of now but we’re open to commercial release. We’re currently screening the film in as many film festivals as possible.
Does the Oscar-winner tag help you in your career?
There’s no air like that. At the end of the day, after working in the industry for almost two decades, I have ample amount of choices. And all I have to do is make the right decision. I can’t keep harping about my laurels.