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Film premieres with 400 prints

india Updated: Jan 23, 2009 00:59 IST
Naomi Canton

The producers and distributors of Slumdog Millionaire are anxiously waiting to see how the film fares in India, the country in which it was made.

The Rs 56 crore movie will be released on Friday, across 85 towns and metros.

It has already been a huge hit in the US and UK, grossing Rs 240 crore at the box office.

The producers and distributors are overjoyed, especially as they never second guessed what a success it would be, initially thinking it would just make an art house cinema.

Speaking on Thursday, producer Christian Colson put it down to destiny. “Right from the making of this film to the Oscar nominations, the stars have aligned for us,” he said. “To have the opportunity to premiere the film on the city on which it was centred on the same night that we get 10 Oscar nominations is an unreal coincidence but a very happy one.”

“We have made 400 prints. So, it’s going to be released like a regular Bollywood film here,” he added.

However, the fate of the film was not always been perfect, as it nearly went to DVD at one point.

Stephen Gilula, CEO of Fox Searchlight, the distributor of the film, said: “When I heard Danny Boyle was planning to do a film in India with Indians, my immediate reaction was I would like to see it.”

The film, initially bought by Warner Independent, was orphaned after the company was closed down last spring and Gilula suggested that it go straight to DVD. However, his partners saw the film and met Colson, the producer.

“I thought it was a nice bit of art cinema and so I negotiated the deal,” he said. “We put it up at the Toronto Film Festival and it exploded and I knew straight away it was going to be a phenomenal success,” Gilula added.

But since then it had been a “magical ride”, audience loved the story and was embraced by people of all ages. “I have been thrilled by the journey so far and I now wait to see how the Indian audience will respond,” he added.