"I Am Kalam" director Nila Madhab Panda, whose second film "Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid" has released Friday withou too much of publicity, says splurging money on promotion does not promise success. He feels a good story line is a must for a film to do well.
"If a film has a good story line, it is well made and sends across a message then it will work for sure. If it is not, then even if you spend crores (of rupees) on its promotion it won't be successful. Maybe for a day or two you will be able to fool audience but not in the long run. They are also very smart now," Panda told.
The 38-year-old made his debut with National Award winning film "I Am Kalam", which was the story of a poor Rajasthani boy, who is inspired by the life of the former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and had a strong desire to learn to read.
Panda, who had to sell his house to make the movie, says it is difficult for an independent filmmaker like him to survive, but times are changing now.
"The road is very difficult and is full of hurdles. It is not easy for a small player to survive in front of a big player. But now things are changing. People appreciate good work and the kind of acclaim a film like 'I Am Kalam' got is a fine example of it," he said.
It seems Panda has taken the responsibility of bringing about a change on his own shoulders. He wants to make cinema that reflects the society and with "Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid", about female foeticide, he has tried the same.
The film has received good reviews.
"I believe cinema is a reflection of society. But people are not ready to take the risk and make films that tell a real story. 'Jalpari' is a child's story and I have tried to make it in a way that it sends across a message. It is a family adventure and not a serious documentary," he said.
In "Jalpari" he has repeated Harsh Mayar of "I Am Kalam" fame. He is also introducing two child artists - Lehar Khan and Krishang Trivedi - with the movie that also stars Parvin Dabas, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Suhasini Mulay.