Instead of segregating, bring regional films under one umbrella

Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu (Photo: Times of India)
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By Arundhuti Banerjee

Mumbai– India’s diverse regional film industry has the power to add to Indian cinema’s growth, and so, it must be brought under one umbrella for it to leave a larger impact, says Madhu Chopra of Purple Pebble Pictures, which has backed movies in Bhojpuri, Marathi, Punjabi, Sikkimese, Assamese and Bengali.

Madhu is the mother of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, who co-owns the banner and plays an active part in selecting the scripts and stories of the projects.

Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu (Photo: Times of India)

Asked why they decided to produce films in different languages rather than sticking to one, Madhu told IANS: “I think most of the regional film industries are small as compared to Bollywood… Therefore, instead of segregation, all the regional film industry should come under one umbrella to grow bigger as the Indian film industry.

“Our company believes in that, and that is precisely the reason we are producing and supporting films in different languages, trying to contribute in different regional cinema.”

“Bam Bam Bol Raha Hai Kashi”, “Ventilator” and “Sarvann” are some of the titles backed by their production banner.

What gives them the confidence of greenlighting a project of a film whose language is unknown to them?

Madhu said: “It is the power of the story that we celebrate. Whether it is travelling to festivals or getting critical acclaim, we are here to back some good stories, to make good cinema.

“And we believe that budgeting a film depends on its subject, not by planning if we are taking it to the festival or going to have a commercial release. We started the company to encourage new talent, so that is our priority.”

The focus is also on increasing the viewership of their productions.

“We are planning to release our films dubbed in Hindi to reach a larger audience. Every regional story reflects its culture, society, people and their lives. If you are a Gujarati, for example, and you want to take a close look at the Bengali or Assamese society and their people, you can do best by watching a film from that part of the land.

“If it is dubbed in Hindi, you can enjoy the story without any language barrier. This is how we can push our boundaries to create a market for ourselves and grow,” she added on the sidelines of the Ficci Frames 2018, which concluded here last week.

Purple Pebble Pictures’ Marathi film “Ventilator” not only earned box office numbers but also won a National Award. Its Sikkimese film “Pahuna – The Little Visitors” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017.

According to Madhu, there are no other categories of cinema except “good” and “bad” as she believes the audience has matured enough not to watch anything nonsensical in the name of commercial cinema.

“Those films just do not work. People come to watch a story,” she said, excited about sharing with the world, their Assamese language film “Bhoga Khirikee”, directed by Jahnu Barua. (IANS)


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