Specific: Mumbai’s impact films Planning theatrical release in India for Brendan Fraser starrer whaleCannes Palme d’Or Winner triangle of sadness and Cannes Best Actor winner BrokerBuoyed by his recent success with the indie global breakout hit everything together everywhere,

The company is releasing Darren Aronofsky’s whale on 30 December, three weeks after its US release A 24, Ruben Ostlund triangle of sadness is being lined up for release in January 2023, around the same time the Oscar nominations are announced. Hirokazu Kore-eda Broker will be out theatrically around the same time, following its US release through neon On 26 December.

Ashwini Sharma, founder of Impact Films, says she later got the confidence to take these films to theatres. everything together everywhere It clicked with Indian audiences and grossed over $200,000 despite releasing in September, six months after its US release.

“People had already seen the film through pirated copies, but came to watch it again in theaters because it was a big-screen experience,” says Sharma. International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and its Industry Forum film market, “They loved this concept of action mixed with the multiverse, which is something they had seen in Marvel movies, but not in an indie film.”

India has always been a notoriously difficult market for independent and foreign language films, with even Hollywood films accounting for only 10–15% of the market. This situation has only worsened during the pandemic, when Indian audiences began to expect most films to pop up on streaming platforms, and become much more selective about what they walk out the front door to watch. Had gone.

Even local language films in India are not getting any easier after cinemas were shut down during the pandemic. Despite the overwhelming success of some of the Telugu language blockbusters like RRRSeveral releases are struggling to bring the audience back to the theatres.

But Sharma is a believer, despite what he describes as a steep learning curve and a few less successful experiences. Already a producer, Sharma launched Impact Films in 2017 as very few world cinema titles were releasing theatrically in India. Historically, there have been only a few buyers, including exhibitors PVR and Multivision Multimedia, and many independent and award-winning foreign films were falling through the gap.

The company started out by releasing Australian Psychological Panic. berlin syndromeOscar-winning Chilean drama directed by Kate Shortland a wonderful woman, but managed to neither book many screens nor attract large audiences. “We didn’t get a very good response, though we later managed to sell the streaming platform and recover some of our investment,” says Sharma.

The company had its first success with Bong Joon Ho. parasitewhich was released in late January 2020 across 65 screens, and was able to expand to 100 screens across 25 cities in its second week, after the film won multiple awards at the Oscars. parasiteThe theatrical run was cut short when the first wave of the pandemic shut down cinemas in India, but Sharma decided to plow on.

“We acquired a number of titles during the pandemic when no one else was buying, so we had this opportunity as the big players were inactive,” explains Sharma. During this period, the company purchased films including the US sci-fi ROMCOM Palm Springsthomas winterberg another roundAsghar Farhadi’s a hero And parallel mothersDirected by Pedro Almodovar.

“We decided to work between commercial US indie films and more artistic titles,” explains Sharma. “On the arthouse side, what resonates is a strong, emotional story that audiences can relate to – themes like the common man, family-oriented, children’s or mother-daughter stories.”

Not that it’s a fail-safe formula, Sharma admits. The company did not get a good response for this a hero, parallel mothers or amazingly Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum, which made an astonishing $60m in China. But Sharma says he learned the hard way about theatrical releases – which cities to release in and where to spend the digital marketing budget – and also found some success with TVOD releases on platforms like BookMyShow.

They also reduced losses by selling and launching SVOD platforms parasite, he realized that he could present these films to a wider audience by dubbing them into the main Indian languages ​​– Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. While the theatrical releases of Impact are all original language with subtitles, therefore reaching a more upscale, urban audience, the SVOD releases are reaching a much wider demographic through dubbed versions of these films.

Sharma explains, “We are trying to develop a hybrid model – taking the synergies of both the mediums, first watching to see what buzz you can have and then dubbing for VOD and dub for films. Make it accessible to a larger Indian audience.” “We’ve seen a growing culture of more people watching these films on VOD, especially content that resonates with Indian culture like Iranian films.”

Sharma is now planning digital releases dubbed in different languages ​​for several upcoming films – split between artistic titles such as Iranian dramas no bear And Leela’s brothers and Japanese director Koji Fukada. love lifeand more commercial Korean style films, including Confidential Assignment 2: International and choi jae-hoon murderer, Some of these titles may also get a short theatrical release.

So far, SVOD buyers include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLiv and MUBI, although Sharma acknowledges that streamers have reduced their acquisition budgets in recent months. He says that sometimes these platforms are more interested if a film has had a theatrical release, sometimes they prefer a digital premiere, but the most important factor is timing – they want to stream the film around the same time. when it is getting international award and festival buzz.

Similarly, Sharma works with Indian festivals when the timing coincides with Indian releases. He currently has three upcoming films screening at IFFI – whale, triangle of sadness And no bear, For his three upcoming theatrical releases, a lot also depends on the buzz around the upcoming awards season. Broker There isn’t Japan’s submission for the Best International Feature category, for example, but he hopes it could get a big boost if Song Kang-ho, who won Best Actor at Cannes, also receives an Oscar nomination.

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