New Delhi: At a time when independent films are struggling to find a foothold among big budgeted multistarrers, a unique initiative by a multiplex chain is ensuring that smaller content-driven projects reach their desired audience.
Films like ‘Love Wrinkle Free’, ‘Harud’, ‘The Forest’ and ‘Supermen of Malegaon’ have been released as a part of PVR Director`s Rare programme, aimed at bringing award winning and critically acclaimed films from across the globe to the discerning audience.
"Films to entertain the niche audience are being made in plenty but very few of these films find distributors because most in India are still driven by star, budget and money. Remaining corporate distributors barely choose 5-6 such films in a year. So there is a huge gap," Shiladitya Bora, Head of PVR Directors`s Rare, said.
It is this gap that PVR is seeking to bridge by releasing films catering to audiences in major cities across India.
"The scale of the release varies from movie to movie. Some independent films are released in 10 to 11 cities whereas some are released only in Delhi and Mumbai," he said.
Recently released movies include Hemant Gaba`s ‘Shuttlecock Boys’, made on a shoestring budget of 35 lacs with a story that revolves around the lives, successes and failures of four friends - from lower-middle class backgrounds living in Delhi - who play badminton every night.
Another much-talked about release has been ‘Harud’, directed by actor-turned-director Aamir Bashir. The film, shot entirely in Kashmir, stars award-winning Iranian actor Reza Naji and local actors from the Valley. It had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.
"PVR shall begin association with films festivals in and outside India that primarily show Indian content. This shall be one of the sources to pick-up the best available alternative content," said Bora.
Upcoming releases as a part of Director`s Rare includes National award winning film ‘Anhe Ghode Da Daan’, ‘Delhi in a Day’ and ‘Fire in Babylon’.
Prashant Nair, director of ‘Delhi in a Day’, said, "My film is a comedy with elements of mainstream masala, including songs. I had some hitches getting distributors for my film despite it not being a typical art house film. Thankfully it is releasing as a part of Director`s Rare, which is a wonderful programme."
The film, shot entirely in Delhi, is the account of a British traveller`s experiences while living with an upper class family in the city.
The first release from Director`s Rare was ‘Good Night and Good Morning’ in January and the film`s director Sudhish Kamat said that multiplexes releasing independent films should screen them for least two weeks and consider adjusting ticket prices.
"A programme like this is a great thing for independent filmmakers but most of the publicity is still done by word of mouth so the films should be screened for two weeks to do justice to them.
"Also, they should apply a different pricing mechanism for tickets as they are low budget projects and the audience might not like to spend as much as a mainstream big-budget Bollywood film," said Kamat.