CAMBRIDGE, MA—Marathi cinema in Boston has taken off with big bang. A bunch of local movie fans and enthusiasts who like to enjoy movies on a big screen have launched “Marathi Cinema Boston.”
“We are very passionate about this effort and hence it really makes it a fun task,” says Mahesh Kelkar, one of the founders of the group.
In an email interview with INDIA New England News, Kelkar talks about Marathi Cinema Boston and its immediate goals and long-term objectives
INDIA New England News: How and when did you come up with the idea of bringing Marathi movies to Boston?
Mahesh Kelkar: Marathi film industry has been producing critically acclaimed and financially successful movies over the last few years. All this is a result of storyline on current and relevant subjects, biopics, not to mention improved production values, movies released from the regional industry have been a delight and captivating for the audience.
INE: Give us some examples.
MK: Examples of these quality movies are: Me Shivaji Raje Bhosle Bolatoy, Lokmanya – Ek Yuga Purush, Duniyadari, Mumbai Pune Mumbai, etc. An article published in Mid-day newspaper listed that Marathi film industry has superior content, low budget and zero reliance on stars which makes up for their success. The regional industry has registered 200 percent profits last year alone. Marathi film “Court” was officially an entrant for Oscar 2016.
INE: How big is the Marathi movie market in the US?
MK: Until a year ago, the US market for Marathi movies was quiet un-deterministic, and hence for production houses it was an afterthought. The only source for us (people in USA) was watching the movies online, if and when it became available. And we as movie buffs wondered how to watch them on first day first show basis. However, over the last year with quality movies, strong scripts, storyline, things are coming together and production houses, distributors and exhibitors in USA are working together to premier these movies here.
INE: What is goal of Marathi Cinema Boston?
MK: Adhering to the mantra, “If you can’t have it, you make it happen by doing it yourself,” a few like-minded people came together and decided to make it happen in the Boston area. Marathi Cinema Boston’s goal is to be a resource for individuals and families looking to experience outstanding Marathi films on a large-screen. We hope to bring you Marathi Cinema that entertains, educates and engages.
INE: Who are the people involved in the Marathi Cinema Boston project?
MK: Marathi Cinema Boston is a collaboration of three entities: RangManch, Kalavaibhav and Half-Ticket Entertainment.
The people who are involved are: Mahesh Kelkar of Half-Ticket Entertainment; Madhavi Phadke, Vaishali Sabnis and Ashwini Chitnavis of RangManch; and Arundhati Datye, Vaiju Karandikar and Bakul Datar of KalaVaibhav.
All of us have been equally involved in organizing shows or screening movies to entertain the New England audience and plan to support good causes by helping raise funds for NGOs.
INE: How many Marathi movies have you screened so far?
MK: We have screened two movies: Katyar Kaljat Ghusli (4 shows) and Mumbai Pune Mumbai 2 (1 show). All the screenings were sold out and were hugely appreciated by the audience.
INE: How big is the Marathi market in Greater Boston? Do you have a number/data?
MK: Boston area boasts around 700-1,000 Marathi audience. This number is estimated based on number of people that have attended our past screenings and various other New England Marathi Mandal’s programs.
INE: Upcoming screenings of Marathi movies in Boston?
MK: Marathi Cinema Boston is screening the most awaited movie of 2016: Nana Patekar in an as “Natsamrat”. We have announced 2 shows so far:
Sunday, January 31st at 1:30 pm and Saturday, February 6th at 1:30 pm. Both the shows are at Apple Cinemas in Cambridge MA. The movie is critically acclaimed and New England audience is awaiting it anxiously.
We have been actively working with distributors in India and other exhibitors in USA to establish a formal process to bring quality cinema to theaters in this area.