Farah Khan: Justifying a film’s big budget is also a task

Farah Khan
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By Arundhuti Banerjee

Mumbai– From her debut in Bollywood as a choreographer with the film “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar” to her first success as a film director with the Shah Rukh Khan-Sushmita Sen starrer “Main Hoon Naa” and becoming the judge of one of hit reality show “Indian Idol”, Farah Khan has made her presence felt in every medium she has stepped into. Now that she is hosting a quiz show for a mobile app and gearing up to direct a new film, Farah says, although getting big budget as a female filmmaker is not a struggle for her anymore, she feels the pressure of justify every opportunity.

When she made her directorial debut in 2004 with “Main Hoon Na”, there were not many female filmmakers.

“I think with success, things change around us and when I started directing films, mainstream Bollywood was dominated by male film directors. So, making space as a female director, getting a budget to make a film the way we wanted it to be, was tough. Not that it is very easy these days, but the success of ‘Main Hoon Naa’, things changed for women filmmakers,” Farah told IANS, talking about the changing trend in the entertainment business.

“I would like to believe that the glass ceiling has been been broken with the success of that film in mainstream. Young female filmmakers are finding their voice,” she said.

Farah continued: “I have a different kind of pressure because the audience expects fun, entertaining, larger-than-life films from me. They want to come and have a good time. Now I get a good budget to make a film, and that is why I have pressure to justify the budget. So, a filmmaker is never out of pressure when making a film. In my next film, I am working with Rohit (Shetty), and he is known for producing big-budget films. As director of the film, I have to make it bigger than ever,” said the maker of “Happy New Year”.

Farah has choreographed iconic songs such as “Chaiyya chaiyya”, “Woh ladki hai kahaan”, “Idhar chala main udhar chala”, “Munni badnaam”, and “Sheila ki jawani”.

On television, apart from “Indian Idol”, Farah has hosted several shows including “Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega”, “Bigg Boss Halla Bol”, and “Farah Ki Dawat”.

Currently Farah is shooting for the Flipkart Video Originals show “Backbenchers”, which started from October 19 on the Flipkart app.

Although she has hosted many shows and she keeps getting offers to host new TV shows, Farah said committing time is a factor because she also has to take out time for her children.

“We finish the shoot of each episode within half an hour. This is a show that on a mobile app, so the content is short, smart and engaging. So, I can quickly finish 20 episodes within a certain time before I gear up for my film venture,” she explained.

So far, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Anil Kapoor, Sania Mirza, Parineeti Chopra, Bhumi Pednekar, Taapsee Pannu, Rajkummar Rao, and Rohit Shetty have been guests on the show.

Was she a backbencher in school?

Farah shared”: “I was always the frontbencher in school. I was one of those students who would win six prizes out of 10 and always come first in class in every exam. I remember once when I got my report card, I was scared and upset to enter the house. I was on the verge of crying and my neighbour thought I failed. That year, I stood second in class. I was studious and competitive. As a student, I had to win every competition!”

The filmmaker mentioned she loves watching quiz show along with her three children because she finds such show entertaining and informative at the same time. Farah, however, has other reasons to host the quiz show.

“I think everyone enjoyed the show so far including me, because on my show they bring their competitive spirit. It is not like usual shows where guests are just asked to dance on their superhit numbers, and asked the same questions again and again. (Hosting a )game show is always fun!” (IANS)


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