Original pilot ‘Bhak’ commissioned for a full season on HOOQ

How far would you go to make it big in Bollywood? Two amateur filmmakers take on the industry in ‘Bhak’ which is moving into production as the newest HOOQ original series.

A huge congratulations to Genero creators Shreyom Ghosh and Arjun Chatterjee from Big3Media, who were selected from the first HOOQ Filmmakers Guild to turn their clever pilot into a full original series, the first commissioned via Genero.

Co-writing and directing the show, Ghosh and Chatterjee created a hilarious rollercoaster ride of frustration, betrayal and love for Indian cinema, as BHAK follows the journey of a naive director, a very relaxed cinematographer and an unknown producer setting out to make their own movie.

The announcement came as the video-on-demand platform launched this year’s HOOQ Filmmakers Guild on Genero.

The Filmmakers Guild is a testament of great film talent all over Asia and we are so proud to helm the second season of the Guild as we look forward to producing more stories that will find their voice on HOOQ, – Jennifer Batty, Chief Content Officer.

Humour was key in the selection, with award-winning Indonesian filmmaker and Filmmakers Guild judge Mouley Surya explaining that “Bhak made the biggest impression on us with its ability to balance the harsh truth of struggling filmmakers in Bollywood with hilariously placed humour…  As all the best pilots do, it ended with a promise of great things to come in its story.” she said. “We wish Arjun and Shreyom the very best and can’t wait to catch the rest of Bhak on HOOQ!”

Starting as a rant in a cafe between director Shreyom Ghosh and his team, the pilot was created around the frustrations of needing the know the right people to get ahead in the film industry. “We wrote some ideas down and completely forgot about it till we saw the call for entries for the HOOQ Filmmaker’s Guild” Ghosh said. “We refined it a bit more and sent it across and, against all odds, we got selected, which was a magical experience by itself!”

After selecting six pilots, HOOQ worked with each team to develop their ideas before moving into production. “The development and pre-production phase was really challenging and fun at the same time. With each sleepless night, the drafts started piling up and we could see the script evolving with the constant support from HOOQ. Shooting the pilot in five days was incredibly demanding and intense, but after having an excellent cast and crew and constant rehearsals for almost a month really helped us push through. All the hard work paid off when we heard the laughter during the screenings in Singapore where we met with the other talented filmmaker’s from the guild.”

 There are really no words to describe the joy we felt at that point and are still feeling. How many times do young filmmakers get an opportunity which is this big?

After each pilot had premiered, the judges were tasked with selecting just one for a full series, and the team behind ‘Bhak’ were ecstatic with the result. “The day we won we were ironically in the same cafe where we were when we were shortlisted. There are really no words to describe the joy we felt at that point and are still feeling. How many times do young filmmakers get an opportunity which is this big? The road ahead is going to be far more challenging and we are indescribably excited to see what happens next!”

Congratulations to the ‘Bhak’ team! If you’re based in Southeast Asia you can watch the full pilot now on HOOQ, or go behind the scenes with the filmmakers below.

The HOOQ Filmmakers Guild for 2018 is now open! If you’re filmmaker in Southeast Asia with a big idea, head to the brief for all the details.