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Foreign Xchange

Bollywood production houses are eyeing overseas markets for revenue generation, writes Princy Jain.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2006 13:35 IST

Bollywood could mean a lot of things in India, but overseas it only means business.With changing face of Indian cinema, image of a typical Hindi film is also fast changing in foreign lands.

The vast population of Non Resident Indians have now become an essential market to tap. Needless to say the same sect is also shelling enough dollars and pounds to drive the sharp Indian minds. Consequently there is subsequent rise in the total worth of the big Bollywood industry, overseas too.
Fast-paced growth

Customary presence of the likes of Karan Johars and Preity Zintas at Cannes and other festivals, is just another a face of it. Soon after Cannes, Johar premiered the music of his film Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna in London, and then at IIFA in Dubai, followed by the premiere of Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish in Singapore.

While the screening at Cannes got Johar distributors from Poland, France and Germany, Rang De Basanti found buyers from Israel and Venezuela. Ashoka Holla, VP of UTV says, “The overseas market has be come integral to the spectrum of movie business. Revenue generation from new unconventional media is becoming increasingly important.”

Room for improvement

Shah Rukh Khan feels the need to improve on the quality of the movies. “There’s a pre-conceived notion regarding our songs and the drama in films and that needs to be changed.”

However, Tanuj Garg, who manages the UK market for UTV, says, “With the success of typical UK films like Rang De Basanti, Taxi No 9211 and Bluffmaster! it is evident that while kitsch-and-kin cinema is here to stay, the audience is becoming receptive to new forms and formats of cinema.”

Avtar Panesar of Yash Raj Films has been quoted as saying, “UK represents probably 30 per cent of our total market and US another 30 per cent, and it’s growing.” Concludes Trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “Both US and UK markets are very hot in terms of business for Bollywood. The impact of Indian films is strong and improving.”