Filmmaker Ritesh S Kumar has zeroed in on a few locations in Lucknow and Gorakhpur to shoot for his next OTT series. Though the project is set on a story from Bihar, Kumar feels shooting in Uttar Pradesh will be a right choice for now.
“I am from Lakhisarai near Patna so I well understand this UP-Bihar belt. I have already shot in my home state and my last series Secrets of Love, based on life of Osho, was shot in Varanasi so I have experienced the shoot friendly approach of the government, administration and public. Also, as the web series too are now eligible for subsidy which will surely be helpful for the directors like us who are carving their own path,” says the Bulletpen director. He was in Lucknow last month during the UP Investors’ Summit.
“I have seen locations in both the cities, but the story is still in scripting stage and we are getting the title registered. Actor Ravi Kishan, who played a pivotal role in my last series, will also feature in my next series with actor Sanjay Mishra and others. We plan to shoot the film after the release of my art film Lachhminiya which is based on caste system,” he adds.
Recalling his earlier days, Kumar shares he came to Mumbai in 2007 to make a career. “I come from a small town and my only goal was kaam karo, paisa kamao. So, I joined an animation course and started working on graphics and VFX. There I got the opportunity to work for feature films. I made some short films and in 2018 made Mridang which went to many film festivals and won too,” he tells.
He then started working on Secrets… in 2019 and shot around 60% in Varanasi and other cities but then pandemic happened. “We completed the film after the lockdown, but the scenario had changed a lot and so we adapted it into OTT series which works better than films nowadays. I then shot the series Bulletpen (2022) which is a story set in Bihar – journey from pen to bullet,” he adds.