It’s been a great year for world cinema in India. With one TV channel, UTV World Cinema, dedicated to the best of what’s happening in world cinema and at least two other players, NDTV Lumiere and Palador Pictures, announcing plans to launch TV channels soon, there’s certainly a buzz around world cinema like never before.
“World cinema will take some time to be a success,” admits PVR Cinemas CEO Ashish Saksena. “PVR is trying to do its bit in promoting it, but all credit must go to entities like NDTV Lumiere and UTV who have also given a serious impetus to world cinema,” he adds. With others like Palador Pictures also helping to create awareness — they have just finished an Ingmar Bergman retrospective across six cities in India — world films are finally releasing at theatres.
Palador’s Bergman festival drew the crowds in most cities, with repeat shows in Mumbai on popular demand. NDTV Lumiere is releasing one contemporary world film at the theatres almost every two weeks. In September it released Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Three Monkeys that won him the best director award at Cannes 2008 and is bringing Fatih Akin’s Edge of Heaven to the theatres in October. UTV World Movies is releasing Krzysztof Kieslowski’s acclaimed Three Colours trilogy at theatres in Mumbai. “This is just the beginning,” says Dilshad Master, COO, UTV Entertainment Television, “We promise to entertain our viewers with screenings of ontemporary award-winning box hits from around the world in your city.”
The encouraging thing, according to Saksena, is that the numbers are improving. “A few years ago, only PVR Pictures released foreign films and the release was limited to Delhi and Mumbai. These days we are releasing the films even in cities like Indore and Gurgaon which is a significant improvement,” he adds. The players are also opting for an across-all-platforms—theatres, TV, DVD etc—release so that it makes business sense.
For example, Palador has unique collectors box sets on offer that include films of masters like Akira Kurosawa, Francois Truffaut, Wong Kar Wai. The company is all set to launch a 10-DVD Japanese classics set, a 4-DVD Kieslowski set, with movies like The Scar, Camera Buff, No End and Blind Chance, and Bergman’s early works. It will only get better than this for world cinema fans.
7 months ago