In an era where the Gujarati film industry is grappling with limited box office success, there emerges a producer who is altering the narrative – one film at a time. Meet Anand Pandit, a film producer hailing from Mumbai, who is putting money into Gujarati films and increasing the budget with each film.
Pandit recently was in Ahmedabad to celebrate the success party of his latest film ‘3 Ekka’. In 20 days, this Gujarati film has amassed Rs 25 crores. He earlier produced ‘Fakt Mahilao Maate’ that also did well at the box office.
Born and raised in the heart of Ahmedabad, Pandit, like countless aspiring dreamers, set out on a journey to Mumbai with stars in his eyes. Fondly reminiscing about his early days, he shares, “Growing up in Ahmedabad, I watched Amitabh ji’s Trishul (1978) over a 100 times. My idea was to just see him once – perhaps from a distance – never did I imagine that destiny would weave our paths together. When I came to Ahmedabad, I didn’t even know where his house is but today, we are also working together. I am producing his films, collaborating for his real estate investments and he is a mentor for my work and life.”
Anand Pandit is more than just a film producer; he is into film distribution and real estate development. His cinematic journey is anchored by Anand Pandit Motion Pictures, a film studio that has produced films such as ‘Chehre’, ‘The Big Bull’, ‘Drishyam 2’ and others. He has made inroads into regional cinema, encompassing Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, and Punjabi.
“When it comes to comparing Bollywood and Gujarati films – the technology, scripts, filmmaking, talent – everything is strikingly similar. The key differentiator is the budget. With the Gujarati box office gaining momentum, there exists an exciting scope for enhanced production value,” Pandit remarks.
The film industry, he believes, is an intricate interplay of demand and supply. Pandit explains, “In Bollywood, the pool of bankable actors is relatively limited, there are just 15 of them, but when it comes to actresses, there are 100s. Additionally, films centered solely around strong narratives often find it challenging to command box office attention. As a silver lining, we’re witnessing a narrowing of the gender pay gap. Today, artists like Alia Bhatt can shoulder the entire weight of a film, and producers are eager to invest in such promising talent.”
Yet, the film industry’s path is fraught with challenges. “There are so many good talents but box office is like a monster. Only if you are sure that a person will bring in money at the box office — it is difficult to take the risk. Otherwise, you have to let that talent go and let him grow for sometime! When I did ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’, we knew that Kartik Aaryan has potential and we invested in him, look at him now.”
In an industry often accused of illusion and facade, Pandit candidly observes, “You have to show people the dream world, unless you show then that–they will not come to see your films, so glamour is required!”