Discouragement and distrust are two things producer Ekta Kapoor faced when she decided to make movies. But she took it with a pinch of salt and made a mark in filmdom by churning out hit movies on a wide range of topics — from underworld to supernatural thrillers — and proving naysayers wrong.
“When I did television, I was told that I cannot do movies and I won’t be able to understand the medium. People thought my movies will be all about jewellery and saas-bahu drama,” Ekta said.
In the television world, she made an impressive beginning in 1995 with comedy show Hum Paanch which was about a couple with five daughters. It turned out to be a huge success and changed Ekta’s fortune; she wasn’t just a plump 20-year-old anymore who was carrying the legacy of her father and actor Jeetendra.
After that, she produced over 70 shows under Balaji Telefilms, which is now a 19-year-old banner, and includes the long forgotten successful noon show Itihaas. She also made Koshish... Ek Aasha as well as Kyunkii... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Kkusum ... Ek Aam Ladki Ki Kahani and Kasautii Zindagii Kay.
Balaji Telefilms also produced horror and supernatural shows for the small screen including Mano Ya Na Mano and Koi Aane Ko Hai, to name a few.
Thanks to her stupendous success, she was crowned the small screen’s czarina.
She replicated the same success with aplomb on the big screen by making hit feature films — underworld thriller Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Ragini MMS on a real life scandal and biopic The Dirty Picture — under her moviemaking banner Balaji Motion Pictures.
“Whenever you change your medium, you have to prove yourself again. One has to come out of the comfort zone again and again and again. My innings in films had a lot of struggle, but I enjoyed it,” said the 37-year-old.
She collaborated with Sanjay Gupta to co-produce Shootout At Lokhandwala and now the two are coming out with its sequel Shootout at Wadala.
There is no dearth of content in her films.
Asked where she takes her inspiration for stories from, Ekta said, “People inspire me the most. I love talking to people and I love knowing about their lives. I always believe that there has to be some inspiration in whatever you do, but it does not have to be from people you personally know.”
Ekta had earned flak from critics for promoting regressive views through her saas-bahu TV sagas.
“I did so many TV shows and I never thought that it would be possible that people won’t generalise the shows. In TV shows, you don’t have time for effects; you just have time for content. Now everyone is doing what I did,” she said proudly.
She has a very simple mantra when it comes to taking criticism.
“I take criticism very well, but I cannot take criticism that is put badly. You have to put it in the right way and then I will take it in the right way,” said Ekta, who continues to entertain TV audiences while courting the big screen.
She is currently looking forward to the release of the supernatural thriller Ek Thi Daayan, which she has co-produced with Vishal Bhardwaj. Her other projects include Lootera and Shaadi Ke Side Effects.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2013.
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