Specials

2014: An astonishing year for regional cinema

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2014 was an interesting year. It started with a great deal of promise but at the end there is a feeling of unfulfillment too.

What started with new films of different and interesting genres doing well at the box office ended slightly unsatisfied with some big film with a lot of expectation underperforming slightly.

English content though continued to perform well with a lot of Hollywood’s big films doing really well at our BO. There is an increasing anticipation for these films and every year we are seeing more dubbed languages adding to the size of the release.

Regional cinema, especially Marathi, has had an astonishing year. Audiences have clearly chosen to enjoy these films because they are telling intimate stories close to their heart. Still lessons were learnt and I think 2015 again holds great promise.

There were also various trends in content in 2014; perhaps these trends didn't follow through that well in the second half of the year. Content is certainly king right now and audiences are becoming very selective of the films they see. This is something that will continue, I think as prices for the content rise, people will become more and more elastic, choosing only films that they really want to see.

I think next year has a lot of terrific looking films lined up and I expect films to build on this expectation to push audiences to the cinemas.

Social media and the connected mediums will continue to drive a lot of reaction and indeed influence content. This trend will continue to get stronger as more and more people join the medium. Content viewing online is something that will also grow strongly. Without doubt this is an area where mobile internet will help greatly and the promise of 4G will fuel the need for content and the desire to consume it.

I also think the trend of over-marketing films will also continue. Maybe for a short term but at the moment I truly feel marketing budgets are out of sync with the feasibility of a lot of the films they are being spent on and this is a slightly worrying trend. Sadly, there are no trends this year that have died out! I think there are always trends that die out and then slowly re-emerge as a ‘new’ trend again a few years later but I don’t think trends die out completely.

Old wine in a new bottle is what our films are based on and I don’t think our audience will tire of that anytime soon.

(These are purely personal views of Mukta Arts MD Rahul Puri and indiantelevision.com does not necessarily subscribe to these views.)

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