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Exclusive | Daredevil Musthafa goes overseas, to release in multiple cities across USA, Europe

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, Shashank Soghal says that regardless of the OTT release chatter surrounding the film, the team intends on keeping the film in theatres for at least 4 weeks.

Exclusive | Daredevil Musthafa goes overseas, to release in multiple cities across USA, Europe
Poster of Daredevil Musthafa

Last Updated: 03.34 PM, May 23, 2023


Shashank Soghal's debut film Daredevil Musthafa has managed to fetch an undisputed and unanimous positive response from its audience. Despite being a modestly-sized release across Karnataka, the young team behind its making opted for inventive methods to promote the film and also retain its underlying authenticity, which is of being a sincere and endearing adaptation of the Poornachandra Tejaswi short story of the same name. Daredevil Musthafa, the film, has been executed through the help of the crowd-funding model which involves more than 70 ardent readers and fans of the legendary author.

Arriving in cinemas on May 19, Daredevil Musthafa garnered rave reviews from both critics and fans with a majority of them hailing Shashank Soghal & Co. for retaining the innocence and the Kannada ethos of Poochante's work. The fact that the culture of literary adaptations in Kannada cinema has almost diminished out of existence, too, has earned the makers a few extra merit points, with some of the top critical views hoping that the film ushers in the tradition. But most importantly, Daredevil Musthafa has been widely appreciated for being a timely intervention as an agent of communal harmony in India, especially when films in the country are being constantly accused of becoming tools of separatism and social apathy.

That said, director Shashank Soghal feels that the collective positive response to the film is yet to translate into appropriate box office figures. 

"It's been a rare occurrence in recent past that a Kannada film has attracted unanimously positive reviews from all corners - we saw films like Kantara and Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana be appreciated by everyone but in those cases, those reviews urged the audiences to throng cinema halls. In our case, the start has been slightly slow but positive nevertheless, although we do hope to see the word-of-mouth do its magic in the next few days. We are lucky to have the support of celebrities such as Daali Dhananjaya sir because it helps in not only reaching out but also in popularizing the name of our film. The current business structure demands a film to have some kind of reputation and as Daredevil Musthafa becomes more & more popular, it will help in attracting distributors and also OTT buyers," says Shashank Soghal.

And the OTT aspect, turns out, is inhibiting the film from faring better in its theatrical run. It is no surprise that audience today ends up segregating a film into 'theatre' and 'OTT' categories and most films of Daredevil Mushtafa kind, which are offhandedly termed as 'niche' or 'slice of life', end up falling into the latter. 

"You see audiences preferring to wait it out until a film lands on OTT instead of stepping out and watching it on the big screen. But we have strived hard to communicate that our film is meant to be experienced in theatres. From sound design to cinematography, every technical detail has been conceived for the big screen. Of course, every film eventually lands on OTT but we are yet to find our buyers and are only involved in discussions at this point. We certainly aspire to keep the film in theatres for at least 3-4 weeks," he adds.

Buoyed by the response, Daredevil Musthafa is now set to go overseas and the makers inform us that the film will soon release in multiple cities across USA and Europe. Alongside, the film will have a wider release across India as well and cities like Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi will be part of the next slate.

"We recently had a premiere in Berlin which was quite successful. And considering the size of the Indian and Kannada diaspora, there’s a lot of scope for the film to do well. Close to 30 cities are part of the USA slate and across Europe, too, we are planning to release the film across several screens. And the overwhelming response has allowed us to release the film outside Karnataka as well: we have presently chosen select few cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Chennai but hopefully we will expand in the coming weeks,” shares Shashank Sokhal.

KRG Studios has taken up the task of distributing Daredevil Musthafa in theatres. The film stars Shishir Baikady, Aditya Ashree, Abhay, Supreeth Bharadwaj, Mandya Ramesh, Nagabhushana, Poornachandra Mysuru and several other talented actors. Navaneeth Sham has scored the music with the combination of Rahul Roy, Sharath Vashisht and Harish Komme editing the film. Rahul Roy is also the film's cinematographer.

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