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Studios script success stories with independent films

Published on : August 31, 2013
Studios script success stories with independent films

Backing 'indie' or offbeat  is the new mantra for major corporate production houses. A growing number of multiplexes coupled with a wider set of global audience are also making these films a handsome investment for the production houses. Apart from  collection the sale of satellite rights of these films are as lucrative, as well. 

Indie films have traditionally stayed far from big , and have often had to struggle to get a theatrical release. But it isn’t the same anymore as major studios are reaching out to indie filmmakers. 
After a successful run by Disney - backed (SOT), Bharat Shah’s VIP Films-backed BA Pass, the former has joined hands with Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions for critically acclaimed film Lunchbox.  Hansal Mehta’s Shahid too will be released by Disney  UTV. The North American rights for distribution of Lunchbox have already been picked up by  Classics. 
According to Ruchi Bhimani, executive producer of Ship of Thesues, which had its unique marketing strategy, has already garnered over Rs 2 crore so far and satellite rights are yet to be sold which will add to the producers’ kitty for sure. SOT was one of the rare films which saw higher revenue in the second week compared to its debut week. B A Pass, too, has managed a gross collection of over Rs 6 crore already with a making budget of about Rs 2 crore. 
'I also think that the line between 'Indie' films and 'mainstream' films is blurring,' said Rucha Pathak, senior creative director, studios, Disney UTV. 
Lunchbox has won the coveted Critics' Week Viewers Choice Awards at Cannes this year which helped reaching this film to the global audience. Anand Gandhi, director of SOT, pointed out that this is a popular trend in Europe and other geographies on the globe, which is now picking up steam in India. 
'The audience for good content is growing and our contribution has been to help grow that market by providing a platform for good cinema,' added Pathak. 
According to senior official at rival production house, which had its own association of producing such films, the global platform is a big advantage that indie films provide. 'It is very simple, when corporate are investing in it they want returns and these films having screened at worldwide festivals offer the global platform. Look at Lunchbox, it is being distributed in regions like North America and Europe,' the official added. 
This also adds to the credibility of the production houses in widening its product portfolio which helps when going global. 
'What the makers want is freedom as in to keep the sanctity of the story intact. It would have no typical economical formula which would dilute the film. Now that UTV and similar houses are backing it, with directors’ freedom intact, this will surely go a long way. More such films will be screened to wider audiences now,' added Gandhi. 
A higher internet penetration is fuelling growth for such films as well as these films have done well in tier-II cities as well. Krunal Mehta, VP- branding & corporate communications at Angel Broking explained why production houses are backing different cinema. 'First of all the preference of audience is changing and films like Lunchbox will have its own set of audience. Apart from just backing filmmakers, these films also provide healthy returns. Digitisation is helping small films having a wider release as well,' he said. Click here
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