Almost every marketer in the country is trying to crack the youth market. So are the largest film studios in India. Ashish Patil heads Y Films, the youth films division for Yash Raj Films. An adman most of his life, Patil was the head of MTV before moving to Yash Raj. Y Films has released two films in a year — Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge and Love Ka The End. The third, Mere Dad Ki Maruti, will be released in the first quarter of March this year. Vanita Kohli-Khandekar spoke to him on the youth market and films. Edited excerpts
How would you define a youth film?
There is a difference between youthful and youth like there is a difference between being young at 21 or 28. Internationally you will find 250-300 titles for teen films. In the US there is the American Pie series, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In India you can count them on your fingertips — Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Udaan, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.
More than 82 per cent of the Indian film-going audience is between 15 and 35 years, but everything (in the content) is like a general entertainment channel (GEC). There is no segmentation.
The industry is so dependent on stars that there is no time to invest in creating the next Ranbir Kapoor.
Our idea is to create two-four new stars every year.
The films you have worked on at Y Films and what is coming up?
Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge (2011) is about meeting on Facebook, Love Ka The End (2011) is about a jilted collegian plotting revenge against her boyfriend.
The next one is Mere Dad Ki Maruti, which is set in Chandigarh and has a very specific flavour. (It is the story of a teenage boy who steals his Dad’s new car to show off in front of the college hottie).
Do you need to infest the crew with young people, to make a young film?
A young crew does have a fresh take on a scene but you need the right amount of experts too to make the transition.
So it is not that you need an 18 year old to make a young film. Over the last two films we have hired 25 new people, writers, directors.