Offbeat films are fastest growing segment: Pritish Nandy

MUMBAI: Being 'different' pays - quite literally and otherwise as well. Pritish Nandy would agree. His production house Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC) has won the Golden Peacock Award in the Innovative Product category for creating a new genre of films which have been often termed in the media as multiplex movies. The company has tasted flying success with its recent film releases - the last one, Chameli, winning healthy audience response as well as critical acclaim.

Chameli explores the love between a seasoned prostitute (Kareena) and a tragedy struck man (Rahul Bose). The so-called multiplex or niche films from the PNC stable include Chameli, Jhankaar Beats, Mumbai Matinee and Sur while in the broader mass markets, PNC had tasted success with the multi-starrer Kaante.

Though he is happily willing to go along with the generic 'multiplex movies' that his films are called, PNC chairman Pritish Nandy, however, does not perceive his movies as such. "All our movies address the young, urban audience," he clarified.

Nandy told that all the movies from PNC, so far, have made a conscious effort to communicate with this segment of the audience in a unique manner. This niche genre of films, Nandy believes, is the fastest growing segment in the movie market and the upcoming films will capitalise further on the popularity and success of this genre.

"The age of pan Indian movies has long vanished," elaborates Nandy. A Mughal-e-azam or Sholay may not be what will work in the current environment, he reflected.

About using in-film brand placement in future productions as was seen in the chartbuster Kaante, Nandy said that he was open to brand placement as long as it fitted in with the production creatives. Placing brands only for money as was seen in Yaadein, he said, will not be justified.

The movies coming up in the next three months from the production house are Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, which is a love story set against the backdrop of political turmoil during the Emergency; Shabd starring Aishwarya Rai; and the frisky sounding Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jao, directed by Kabir Sadanand.

Over a longer time horizon of one year, PNC has lined up 12 movies to be released between now and March 2005. That is some pace and frequency - on the silver screen that is.

On the small screen, however, PNC has largely been out of action save a few events based programmes such as the 7th Annual Sansui Viewers' Choice Movie Awards presented by PNC.

Cost recovery is a problem in television - Pritish Nandy

Nandy said he would be completely off television for now as cost recovery is a problem in television. Also, the timelines for financial realisations in television programming is longer, which he feels does not justify the effort and monetary input that goes into production. 

"We end up financing the channel, which is not our business. We would rather be involved in creativity," Nandy stated candidly.

Getting back to movies, the look and feel of entertainment is changing, no doubt, and a select few are moving in quickly to take advantage of exploring the newly developed and growing audience segments and entertainment genres. PNC is definitely among those reaping the rewards of taking the risk to be zara hat ke.

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