Promoting first-time writers, directors, and young actors, while expanding their reach as a production banner is one of the main focuses of Red Chillies Entertainment, says Gaurav Verma, producer and Chief Operating Officer, of the company. Established by superstar Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri Khan, Red Chillies Entertainment made a foray into film production with choreographer Farah Khan’s directorial debut ‘Main Hoon Naa’ (2004) and went on to back films like ‘Paheli’, ‘Om Shanti Om’, ‘Ra. One’ and ‘Chennai Express’.
The company gradually moved towards producing content beyond SRK-starrers and has in recent years given critically-acclaimed titles like ‘Ittefaq’, ‘Badla’, ‘Kaamyaab’, ‘Love Hostel’ as well as web series ‘Bard of Blood’ and “Betaal”.
“A lot of effort is going slowly to turn Red Chillies into a production house that can tell stories of all kinds and work with fresh talent,” Verma told PTI in an interview.
While Shah Rukh has throughout been a guiding force, he gives the team the freedom to nurture talent and give space to writers, directors and actors, the producer asserted.
“He (SRK) has been in the business for 32-33 years and continues to invest in the business. He is the guiding light. He has the ability to nurture talent and give space to writers, directors, actors and films across all genres that do not feature him. He has given us freedom, encouragement, and investment in terms of time and money,” Verma added.
Apart from supporting budding talent, the producer said, the banner also aims at backing diverse content in various genres.
“There is a conscious effort to create more content, work with more actors, directors, technicians and we are trying to expand gradually.”
Red Chillies ventured into long-format content production with the Netflix series ‘Bard of Blood’ and followed it up with ‘Betaal’. Verma said the company is excited about telling stories on digital platforms and they are also open to producing remakes.
“Filmmaking is a collaborative business. We are looking to say stories with the right set of partners. We are open to south Indian or international remakes,” he added.
The company’s upcoming releases include ‘Darlings’, featuring Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah, and Bhumi Pednekar-starrer ‘Bhakshak’.
‘Darlings’, which marks the directorial debut of writer Jasmeet K Reen and is co-produced by Bhatt, is set against the backdrop of a conservative lower-middle-class neighborhood. It traces the lives of two women who find courage and love in exceptional circumstances.
While the Bihar-set ‘Bhakshak’ is inspired by true events and lays bare the ground reality of crimes against women. It features Pednekar as a feisty journalist who realizes the consequences, threats, and intimidation she may face as she uncovers a story.
Pulkit of ‘Bose: Dead or Alive’ fame has directed the film from a script he co-wrote with Jyotsana Nath.
“We have completed ‘Bhakshak’, we have a little bit of patchwork left on ‘Darlings’, which is happening now. Both the films are in post-production. Once they are ready, we will evaluate when we want to bring them (out).”
Red Chillies has five to six films in the casting stage and Verma said they will officially announce the projects in near future.