Films for Entertainment or Festivals ?

Indian Movies: Film Festival Winners or Mass Entertainers ?

Mumbai, April 2, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio / Iha Features) Nowadays almost every film director and producer want their films to be first taken to each and every film festival across the globe and then release it in their own country. If a director and a producer make a good film then automatically it will be praised by the critics, will get awards and the audience will want to watch the film and the film will be a success.

What might be the reason for the film makers to think like that? Are there are a lot of film festivals across the globe and to reach in these film festivals is almost easy. Or today, India has marked itself in film festivals. May be because only those films work here which are praised by the critics at the film festivals and the audience tend to look at the film in a different way. And above all these, the main reason might be that the money invested by the producer on a film becomes a safe investment when he takes it to the film festivals.

To get to know more about all these we asked Director Harish Sharma who’s first film “2 Nights in Soul Valley” is released. He said, “Today it has become more important to take films to the film festivals because there are more than 121 film festivals in which from more than 140 countries films are bought. Some less and some for an average prize the films are sold, where in the producer does not have to suffer losses. The movies which are low budget and have introduced a new face are often difficult to sell. Even if the film has a good story, a good projection but still it is difficult for the producer to release it in the theatres. That is the main reason why low budget films find it worthy to make an entry in the film festivals. Other than that, if the film is sent to the film festival and if it is selected, then the reviewers and the film producers do not have to pay for the screening of the movie. The organizers of the film festival do that. And if the film is really very good then the film gets recognition in and across the country. All this is the same for small films and documentaries also. For instance, there was a film ‘Road’ which starred Satish Kaushik and Abhay Deol. It was taken off the screen just after 3 days of its release. Despite that the producers sold this movie across the country for more than 10 crores wherein the cost of the film was around 3 crores”.

Talking about big budget movies, they do not have to face any of these problems as they have a big star cast and a big banner, and they don’t have any financial limitations. Such producers take their films to countries like the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand, where there is a lot of Indian population. Even big producers are taking their films to film festivals. Hindi films have also been released in Japan and China.

Taking films to International film festivals has now become a common thing. There are some producers who take each and every film of theirs to film festivals, no matter if the audience like it or not, they take it. Audience’s likes or dislikes does not matter to them, all they want is an award.

There are around 2,000 films who come at the film festivals. And it is next to impossible to watch all the movies. Wondering how they select the movies? Majority of the film festival are abroad and we don’t know if the selection is done by fair means. It is mostly those films whose directors are famous.