Exclusive Interview with : Ashish Patil, Vice-President (brand partnerships and talent management) at Y-Films
Updated on: 28 Jun 2016
Y-Films, the youth arm of Yash Raj Films (YRF) and the creator of popular Web series like Bang Baaja Baaraat, Man's World and Ladies Room, has been giving multiple YouTube content creators a run for their money. Earlier this week, a Y-Films' creation—6 Pack Band—also won the Glass Lions Grand Prix at the 63rd International Festival of Creativity in Cannes. In an interview, Ashish Patil, vice-president (brand partnerships and talent management) at Y-Films, spoke about the experience of creating the award-winning transgender band for Brooke Bond Red Label, the state of Indian television and the expansion of Y-Films' digital portfolio. Edited excerpts:
What was the idea behind the '6 Pack Band'?
It's a classic thing of how your conversation with the transgender community is largely at a traffic light and your typical reaction is to roll up the window. It would often play in my head that they are, for no fault of theirs, not even allowed to make an honest living. There are things you do, not because they could get you ratings, revenue or recognition. There are some things you do just because they are the right thing to do. That was something playing in my head.
And the timing was right. In the last 18 months the kind of stuff that has been happening in this community across the world, from Caitlyn Jenner (an American television personality and athlete) coming out in an interview with Vanity Fair, Laverne Cox (a transgender American actor and LGBT, or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, rights advocate) picking up the Emmy for the TV series Orange is the new Black, to an Amazon show like Transparent (about a Los Angeles family which discovers that the person they knew as their father is transgender) picking up the Golden Globe and Emmy, to President (Barack) Obama getting on the cover of an LGBT magazine—Out, the first American president to do so. Even in India, there was a landmark judgement last year by the Supreme Court recognizing the third gender and this is in a country where it's illegal to be homosexual. So it was the correct time to do something like this.
We're talking to a very young audience and they won't listen if you give them gyan. So we did something through real storytelling and through entertainment. That's where tapping into all the pop culture elements of music and dance, which comes naturally to Y-Films and to this community, came together.