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No one does low budget better than us: Siddhartha M Jain

A quick interview with him in his unique, museum-style office in Andheri, before he left for Cannes last night...

You created and produced the Ragini MMS franchise in horror films...
I wanted to test my instinct with regards to the audience, so we created in-house, a horror film script that could be made in R 1 crore and shot in 12 days, in two languages with unknown, fresh talent. We sold the film to a leading studio and now it has turned into a franchise. No one does low budget better than us.

Your next film Disco Valley has been hailed as the successor to Delhi Belly.
Disco Valley is a 90-minute mad, outrageous comedy set in in a rave party. It’s a youthcentric film that will appeal to both big and small town audiences.It was such a compelling script, that Viacom18 picked it up at the script stage, like all our films.

You are producing five or six films with intriguing titles like Kill the Rapist, Size Zero, Saxxx Ki Dukaan, Alien Kumar, Bloody Veer, Nangu aur Pangu, Kinky aur Pinky.
I can produce so many films since iRock has one of the largest team of in-house writers, toiling away since the last five years. Audiences subconsciously decide to watch a film based on the title, poster, trailer, cast and concept. If I am offering them new actors, I need to compensate them with exciting ideas. The titles need to showcase that.

Looking at the obsession with weight loss, Size Zero appears to have a universal appeal.
Size Zero is a family-comedy, chick-flick set in Amritsar, which shows the journey of a young, plump (not fat) girl’s adventures. We are casting and shooting starts soon.

What are your other films?
Saxxx ki Dukaan is an adult-youth comedy, set in the world of adult toys. The tagline is – Toys, Boys & Super-Lingam. Nangu aur Pangu and Kinky aur Pinky are films that will re-define romcoms in India. We will soon announce the mother of all romance films franchise, based on Mills and Boon novels.

You are turning director with Alien Kumar.
I feel as a director, I will be able to make films, better, faster and cheaper. I learnt the basics of filmmaking many years ago, when I was dabbling in Hollywood, but never told anyone about it. While all the scripts that we develop in iRock are very personal and dear to me, Alien Kumar compelled me to take the plunge. Later, I will direct Jaa Chudail Jaa and Pondy ki Cherry.

You have established iRock as a brand for edgy films and attracted investors like Manmohan Shetty of Adlabs, Dar Media and Shravan Shroff of Shringar/Fame Cinemas.
Be brave, be different, be mad, be deserving. Be iRock. I am driven by the thought of building an ecosystem of young, emerging talent, which will cater to the young-emerging audience of India for the next decade. Usual bores me. We don’t talk about change, we are the change. Next year, we are foraying into Indian themed, international films. When I produced Marigold with Salman Khan and Ali Larter, it was a bit too early for the market. 

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