“Pad Man” director R. Balki says that the best part is people now do not shy away talking about menstruation. (IANS photo)

MUMBAI—Filmmaker R. Balki, whose last directorial venture "Pad Man" was on menstrual hygiene, says the idea behind making the film was to create awareness and not just generate box office. And so, the makers are content with the response.

With Akshay Kumar leading the cast in the movie, it did well at the box office but not as per expectations.

Asked if the subject affected the film's business, Balki told IANS here: "When you make a film on menstruation, the intention is never the box office number, but the impact it creates. The best part is people now do not shy away talking about menstruation.

"Even if 10 people changed their thought, I would consider that as good sign. And whatever number our film has got at the box office, it shows how many people watched the film, keeping the intention of the film in mind. For us, it is a huge achievement."

According to trade experts, while the film attracted footfalls in metros, the small town audience was not too enthusiastic about the subject.

In that case, did the film reach its target audience?

"Well, I think when it comes to awareness of menstruation hygiene, even city people are also not aware of it that well, and it is also taboo for them. Even inside Mumbai, if you go a little into the interiors and suburban areas, people are not open to talk about it. So we are trying to arrange a free screening of the film in the rural areas, with Melinda Gates Foundation. We have already started from the outskirts of Maharashtra," he said.

Balki conducted a masterclass at the Ficci Frames 2018 on March 6. He spoke about his journey from his first feature film "Cheeni Kum" to "Pad Man," apart from his special bond with Amitabh Bachchan.

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