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Abhishek Jain: Want people to believe Vitthal Teedi is a dignified version of Scam 1992

Filmmaker Abhishek Jain turned an entrepreneur after launching his OTT platform, Oho Gujarati.

By Shaheen | OTTPlay
May 11, 2021
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After working with Pratik Gandi in the National Award-winning film Wrong Side Raju in 2016, producer and director Abhishek Jain teamed up with the Scam 1992 actor for the recent web show titled Vitthal Teedi. The series, helmed by Abhishek, released on his Gujarti OTT platform, Oho Gujarati.

In an interaction with OTTplay, the filmmaker and entrepreneur opened up about his expectations from the show, working with Pratik again and collaborating with Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Sanon for his upcoming film. Excerpts from the interview:

The one question on people’s mind is, is Vitthal Teedhi an extension of Scam 1992?

Well, there is no way to cut down on people’s expectations or perspective. The only way is to show them the content and let them decide. Even if it is an extension of Scam 1992, I would only want them to believe that it is a dignified version, if not better.

Your directorial Kevi Rite Jaish is still a recommended watch among the Gujarati audience. Do you have any plans for its sequel?

For me, personally, Kevi Rite Jaish is done and dusted. Every filmmaker needs to evolve from where he or she started and thus I don’t see any need to revive or remake my first film. It is precious to me and my career. I share a spiritual relationship with Kevi Rite Jaish and I would not like to disrupt that.

Right after Kevi Rite Jaish, you collaborated with Pratik in two great projects - your directorial Bey Yaar and your production venture, Wrong Side Raju. So, with Vitthal Teedhi, are you aiming for a hattrick?

I would have cherished the word hattrick, if I was a cricketer. As a storyteller, I would like to make more content with him if we both are excited about a story.

This is your first time directing a web series. How is it different from helming a film?

The medium is completely different, but it gives a lot of scope for a writer and director to explore the characters and plot. Not getting too indulged and yet trying to tell the story with all its facets and angles is a wonderful freedom. There were challenges to understand the format and medium. Right from the camera angles to the final sound design, everything was new to me and I guess I am still learning.

Tell us about your plans for the OTT platform Oho Gujarati?

OTT space is more like a passion project to tell stories, than a business proposition. Obviously business is a crucial aspect of it, but the germ of the idea is to be able to facilitate the fraternity to tell more stories in Gujarati and reach out to the global audience. Business will follow, if we stick to our intent and mission. As an entrepreneur, I have always prioritised the content and things have worked out so far. Hopefully this time too, if our content is good and the intent is honest, business will follow.

How was it working with Rajkummar Rao and Kriti Sanon in your Bollywood film Hum Do Hamare Do?

The experience was wonderful. They are extremely professional artistes and very collaborative. It was great fun shooting with them. The film completed shoot last year and we are in the post-production stage.

Could we see you helm a Hindi web series soon?

There are a couple of stories which I have been developing for a long time. I’m looking forward to connecting with the right platform and taking it ahead. They are bigger projects in their scale and plot.

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