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How I made it: 'Q' (2017)

This film portraits a woman 'Heeba Shah' living in Mumbai, and a six-year-old girl from nowhere. The girl has a code name ‘doll’. Their lives had no contact point till getting implicated in an unstoppable mission. Woman, perfectly aware, girl, perfectly unaware.

A still from the film

96 mins | Hindi | Thriller Drama | 2017 | India

The film unfolds the unknown journey, for both the girl and the women. The destinies bring them together due to odd circumstances and then what happens is a series of unexpected happenings. In its persistent mission and zeal to promote good cinema, the Indian Film Institute brings you the experience of Director & Producer of the film - Sanjeev Gupta.

Why this subject matter for your film?

Why people harm each other with clear intentions, why people harm each other without any intentions but purely for the clear purpose of their own? Can one absolutely ignore others’ lives for one’s own profit? Can one become absolutely cold-blooded? Q stands for many questions I have, and you would have.

Interesting Fact : When it was becoming difficult to find producers for the film, Sanjeev decided to build a team of passionate and cinema loving people, who pitched in and made the process easy.

Where did you find this story for this film?

The journey of the ‘Film Q’ began when a random idea of a newspaper article came into my mind and got stuck there then. So, I decided to give that idea a proper shape. I initiated with developing the script. After day-night efforts of almost 120 days, eventually, I prepared a thoughtful script.

What were the challenges you faced in making the film?

‘Film Q’ is the outcome of the team of crazy cinema buffs and their uncountable efforts. I prepared a thoughtful script. Now, was the time to find producers who could finance the film. Considering this thought in my mind, I shared my script with many people. Initially, they got impressed with the idea but as I told them that there would not be any songs, music, and background score in the film; their interest faded out. And, unfortunately, all my efforts went into the bin and I ended up with nothing in my hand.

In spite of tasting the disappointment at the very early stage of the project, I did not feel defeated nor did I lose my self- confidence. As most certainly one thing I knew that my film would be different from the league because of that unique concept. But, in the end I need to look after my financial needs. Thus, I decided to build a team of passionate and cinema loving people.

Afterward, I put all my energy and time into gathering a powerful team of skilled camera-person, editor, musicians, technicians, assistants, and a six-seven year kid who could act in my film. Then deliberately, I started adding people in my team and finally, created the strong one. Owning a strong team, ultimately, enhanced my image in the market and helped in fulfilling financial requirements for my film.

Did you face any problems in releasing the film?

No, as a film producer find digital release beneficial for the film, so after that NETFLIX comes on board to release the film. It was a quite good exclusive deal with Netflix.

What was your background before making your first film?

I have joined the Electronic media college in Indore. After earning the degree, in the year 2006, I had moved to Mumbai. Initially, I have worked with media and film production & post-production houses to get a thorough knowledge of the industry. I have assisted some directors in films too.

How do you think filmmakers like you can overcome common challenges like finance and distribution?

Anyhow, we filmmakers need money little or big that depends on the script. I think for the finance part filmmakers need a good script and make a proper budget for the film and need a good execution plan. One more point I need to add, Filmmakers should make a good & dedicated team to attract producers. The team is strength.

And for the distribution part, now we all have a digital release so distribution is not a big challenge if you want to show your film to the audience. I feel just focus on making a good film, then you will get distribution because there are many OTT platforms they also want good films to show and you can do self digital distribution also.

How to reach Sanjeev Gupta


How to Feature your film If you have made an independent feature film, or a short film, which has won awards at the International Film Festivals, or a film of Social importance, and would like to tell the world how you made it, Indian Film Institute is helping independent filmmakers reach the right audience, and inspiring the next generation of filmmakers. Drop an email to for more information. Follow Indian Film Institute for more resources and industry updates Facebook | Linkedin | Youtube Its time you explore our online film-making programme called Discover Cinema which has been developed by the Indian Film Institute for people who are exploring filmmaking as a profession. Learn the basics of Film making from Award-Winning Filmmakers and Film professionals. From Screenplay to Direction, Cinematography to Editing, Short Film making to Festivals. Join us to face the challenges and learn the craft of film making in Six Weeks. Discover Cinema. Follow Facebook | Instagram


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