With a never back down attitude, Prerna Arora is stepping into a ‘man’s world’. She talks to Viraj Sawant about her yen for film production and more
Since its inception, the film industry has been largely dominated by men. Apart from the traditionally female-centric departments like wardrobe, and make-up, it’s rare to see women taking charge as a director or a producer. Though directors like Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde, Mira Nair and a few others are filling the void in the director’s zone, female producers still are a rare species.
Ambitious, intelligent, focused and beautiful, Prerna Arora is here to change the game and set an example for many other women to look beyond the conventional professions in the Hindi film industry and forge a new path…
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Modelling or acting is generally the very first choice of girls when it comes to the film industry. How did you decide to be a producer?
I was born to do this! I don’t remember anything else that I wanted to do with my life other than this. Coming from a small town, my parents wanted me to be a doctor. You know how it is, all parents have this mandate for their kids where they want them to grow up and become doctors or engineers or IAS officers. These jobs are looked at with a lot of respect. I cleared the medical entrance and I was supposed to reach Bangalore to pursue Medicine. Then I changed my choice and went on to complete my graduation in Arts. I wanted to get into production from the age of 22 or 23.
Taking baby steps is the way to go ahead usually but you took a giant leap and decided to produce Akshay Kumar’s RUSTOM as your first film.
When you enter a new field, you are like a newcomer or the new kid. It’s more about your talent and merits in this industry. It does not have anything to do with your gender. You only need clarity of what you need here and challenges are something that is inevitable. I was pretty prepared and my home work was done. I knew what was to be done. So I didn’t really face challenges as such during RUSTOM.
What will your choice of films depend on?
I will choose films on my gut feeling. Of course everything else will play a role but my conviction will also be equally important. I need to believe in something before I step into it. As per the trends of the industry, content is definitely a huge reason to do a film. Actors too get attracted to a film if the story is good. Luring actors with exorbitant amounts as fees doesn’t work in this industry. You can make a good film only with good content.
As for RUSTOM, it was just fate, I feel. It was destined to happen. I have always had a desire to work with Akshay Kumar. I have been a big fan of his and he is one of the most influential actors in the industry. It’s like preparation meets opportunity and luck happens for you. I was prepared to start and this film came my way. So we all collaborated and it happened in a smooth process.
Isn’t a producer’s job like a gamble with too many risks?
Risk is a factor involved in every field. You have to take risks here and I am here to sustain. I am not here for a short time period or for a few films. So if one of my films doesn’t make an impact or faces a loss, I’ll make sure I work harder the next time and cover up all the losses. Failure is not something that will shake me up but it’s more of an assurance that I will do better in the next one. I am not thinking about profit and loss at all. Right now I am trying to build KriArj Entertainment which is my father’s company and my dad’s partner Arjun Kapoor is a part of this company; Mahesh Bhupati is also our partner.
Can you explain the name of your production house, KriArj Entertainment?
KriArj Entertainment is basically Krishna and Arjun. The name is very symbolic to our beliefs. My mother and I believe in lord Krishna. I also believe that miracles do happen when you believe in them. Krishna is the supreme leader and I think I am the Arjun in this battlefield since it’s a competitive industry. If you are on the path of being righteous then you can face a hundred people on the battlefield.
Since you have absolutely no one in the industry, what advice did you father give you before you stepped into this new line of work?
My father is an agriculturist and he isn’t from this industry. He is the support system for a dream that I saw. He told me that there are no failures. This world is more techno and emotions have dried up. As a girl, he told me, my conduct has to be supreme and prime. You don’t have to ever expect from people. He told me to be like a guy. Working hard and focusing more on my work is going to be my aim. Everybody has a success story here. I can’t just follow some successful person’s story and become successful myself. You have to carve your path here.
I have seen that a lot of families own production houses in the industry. I am trying to make my own path into the industry. Also women do not step into this zone at all, it is either like a taboo for them or they just don’t realise that the commerce of cinema is also a part of filmmaking.
On a lighter note, what sort of a Bollywood fan are you?
I am an all-rounder when it comes to liking Hindi films. I don’t like dark films as an audience. For me, films are more about brightness and colours. My first love with films started with J Om Prakash’s films, NasirHussain’s films with Dharmendra, Asha Parekh. Commercial films with a story were my initial love. I love classics like Brahm-chari, Teesri Mazil and Gulzar Sa’ab’s PARICHAY.