In the years that she has been part of the entertainment industry, producer Sarita Patil has had her fair share of festival films, debuts, and big-ticket films. In a conversation with Film Companion, Sarita opens up about her upcoming release Thrishanku, the role of a producer and a showrunner, and what she looks for in a script as a producer.
"Thrishanku is a fun, breezy, one-of-a-kind romcom that would work anywhere. It is our first foray into something other than Hindi, and I am looking forward to it," says the producer, who has popular Hindi films such as Drishyam (Hindi, 2015) Andhadhun (2018) and Monica O My Darling (2022) to her credit. Thrishanku, which stars Arjun Ashokan, Anna Ben, Nandhu, and Suresh Krishna in lead roles, will mark her first Malayalam production venture. "Thrishanku was absolutely coincidental. All our previous films, be it Andhadhun or Monica, O My Darling, belonged to hard-hitting genres, while Thrishanku is our first romcom," she says.
When asked about her take on Malayalam films, she says, "My mom is from Kerala, and I am very comfortable with the Malayalam atmosphere as such. The only thing that matters today is having an eye for the right content. I see that happening in Malayalam cinema; people take up high-calibre storytelling and challenging scripts."
Talking about how content is more viable nowadays, she notes, "With thirty years of experience in production, I have been with the corporate sector for almost twenty-seven years, and we go for numbers. As an entrepreneur, I believe we have a balance between content and numbers. We make festival films, debutantes, and the films that fetch us money."
Sarita agrees that remakes have done wonders for productions, but adds that the ship has sailed. "Earlier, we were after remakes, but now people opt for originals as they are authentic, and OTT gives people the freedom to watch them.”
Explaining the role of a film producer and a showrunner, she details how they are actively part of the writer’s room. “We have a say in the creative aspects of a film. With the advent of the OTT space, producers are valued more than directors. Because the producers are the ones who pitch storylines and mediate everything. In OTT, the producer is the captain of the ship, as he or she takes the final call. Producers are part of the legal and creative departments, policies, and budgets, and I see this as a positive change."