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Baahubali and beyond, the rise and rise of regional cinema in India

While Hollywood is a favoured genre in tier two and three cities, audiences in metros have shown an increased preference for regional cinema.

bollywood Updated: Feb 26, 2019 17:50 IST
Sweta Kaushal
Sweta Kaushal
Hindustan Times
Baahubali was the first regional film to overcome language barriers and emerge as a strong competition for Bollywood movies.

With Sairat, Ventilator and Baahubali, we have seen a new trend in how people watch cinema in India over the past few years – regional cinema is breaking the barriers of language to score big in Hindi-speaking regions. Here’s an interesting fact for you: while Hollywood is the favoured genre in tier two and three cities, audiences in metros prefer regional cinema.

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“Hollywood and Bollywood have a percentage share of 38% and 47% respectively while 15% films we have screened under our new initiative are regional languages. Regional population staying in metro cities tend to pick movies of their native language while tier 2 city audiences tends to pick Hollywood movies which never released in their cities.If one wants to watch a particular movie at a theatre and the said movie is no longer running at any theatre, PVR VKAAO app and website lets one create a movie screening at a theatre of one’s choice, and at preferred time and date. This screening will then be made available on the platform(s) for other users to join. If enough people pay up for the screening, one gets to watch it on big screen,” Kamal Gianchandani, CEO PVR Pictures, told Hindustan Times.

“The demand for both regional and other screenings have been compelling across markets. Typically about 20% of the screenings in metros are for regional cinema while they form about 12% in non-metro cities”, Marzdi Kalianiwala of BookMyShow said.

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Just last year saw several regional films – Ventilator, Shwas, Poshter Boyz and the likes travelling across the world in various film festivals. A Forbes report quoted Shreyas Talpade as saying, “The first is that there is greater awareness today as a result of which people have started flocking to the theatres. Earlier, people would make films, but there would be no marketing or publicity. The second is what has always worked for South and Hindi films—the youth connect. In the South, it was cool for a young couple to watch a South Indian film on a date. Till now, the Maharashtrian youth was not kicked about watching films made in their mother tongue. Now, with different types of films being made, they are embracing the quality stuff being offered to them. The third is the subject. With a new breed of filmmakers coming in, they are exploring newer ideas and providing something of substance.”

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First Published: Feb 26, 2019 16:06 IST