In an interview with the Indian Express, filmmaker Aanand L Rai spoke about the need to support small budget films and his upcoming film 'Zero' starring Shah Rukh Khan.
Aanand has been supporting small budget films for a while now. Films like 'Nil Battey Sannata' or 'Shubh Mangal Saavdhan' have been able to make a mark. He said, “When I listen to stories, I never decide if it’s a small, medium or big budget film. I feel it is need of the hour. The reason to make a film is its story. I decide on the story and then on the budget.”
“Sometimes being a middle-class person, my economics stay in that budget. My stories come from the same zone (middle-class). Even today, I get scared to waste half a cup of coffee. So, the middle-class thinking is letting me enjoy filmmaking a bit more than usual. When you make a big budget film, back of your mind you become very careful of everything wherein the small budget films let you enjoy the (filmmaking) process. It’s always been in my subconscious mind. Otherwise, budget is secondary. Story stands first,” he added.
When enquired if he considers his much-awaited directorial 'Zero' a big budget film, Aanand said, “Zero definitely is a big budget film but it’s made with so much love and affection. With Khan Saab (Shah Rukh Khan) as a part of it, he is not letting me think of the economics. So, I am enjoying the world and that’s what I did for 10-12 years. It (Zero) has been a fun and emotional journey for me. You can say it is a big budget film but it also has a big beautiful heart.”
Aanand also opened up about his bond with Shah Rukh and said, “He is the most obedient actor I have ever seen. He makes you extremely comfortable. It’s great on his part that he gave me so much of space and never let me feel a bit uncomfortable. The fan moment was there for the first two days. He brushed it off quite soon. After that, I found a brother in him.”
The producer is backing two interesting projects this year, 'Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi' and 'Manmarziyaan'.