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The pirates of Gurgaon

On February 5, 2009, I got the first feedback to my film Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye from viewers outside my circle. Some ladies in Los Angeles had seen it on the Net and they loved it, they said, writes Madhureeta Anand.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2009 01:54 IST

On February 5, 2009, I got the first feedback to my film Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye from viewers outside my circle. Some ladies in Los Angeles had seen it on the Net and they loved it, they said.

My film released on February 6, 2009. A week later, I walked into a market in Gurgaon. There, I saw DVDs of my film filling the stands end-to-end.

It was surreal.

I found myself asking the men selling these DVDs, “How many have you sold?”, “Do people like it?” and “Would you recommend it?” till I realised I was drawing solace from sales of the pirated DVDs of my film.

But for me at that point, it was a sign that people were seeing my film.

Mere Khwab... was made on a modest budget and had a decent build-up to its release. We managed to create what is called a ‘buzz’.

However, the truth is that audiences almost never watch more than one film a week in the halls because the ticket prices are just too high. We lost out to another film. But people still wanted to see the film. Their recourse, then, became a pirated DVD.

Piracy is a heinous and condemnable crime. But the fact is that there are audiences waiting for the next free film.

So, even as we fight piracy, perhaps we also have to make film watching more affordable and accessible.

(Madhureeta Anand writer and director of Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye.)