The last Bollywood film that released in Israel was the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Devdas (2002). And after a gap of over 10 years, now the upcoming Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone movie, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (YJHD), will hit theatres in the country. The movie’s overseas distributor, Eros International, is expecting it to do great business as Hindi films have a large market there.
“It is releasing on the same day in Israel as it is in India. There is a huge demand for these movies since Israelis and the local Indian population there are fond of the content,” says Kumar Ahuja, president, business development, Eros International. “Earlier Bollywood content was available on DVDs and Indian channels, but this can very well be called the beginning of the theatrical age of Hindi movies in Israel,” he adds.
The Ayan Mukerji directorial has been dubbed in Hebrew for the audience there, and is currently being promoted on television channels across the country.
Commenting on why no Bollywood film has released in Israel in the last decade, Kumar says, “There was no solid distributor in Israel until now. And getting prints of the movie is an expensive process. But now Shai Motion Pictures (an Israeli distributor) has invested in a portable projector, which gives us the mobility to showcase movies at different locations at a cost that is much lesser.”
The foreign distributors, are equally thrilled about the film. “We are looking forward to it. It is after a long gap of 10 years, after Devdas, that any Indian movie will release here. This itself calls for celebration as we are anticipating good numbers,” says Shai Solomon, of Shai Motion Pictures.