Television

Bengali film viewing has dropped: CII & IMRB report

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KOLKATA: Majority of Bengali film viewers in Kolkata have not been in theatres in the last one year to watch a Bengali film, despite proliferation of multiplexes. However, it is interesting to note that in the districts, around two thirds have visited movie theaters to catch a Bengali film, but the frequency of visits are quite low, not even three films in a year, reveals a report ‘Bengal Bioscope: A Big Picture Outlook for Sustainable Growth’ launched jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and IMRB.



The report further reveals that around 30 per cent of Bengali cinema viewers do not contemplate watching a Bengali film in a hall in near future and an additional 10 per cent have stopped watching Bengali films on big screens in the last one year.



This is further corroborated by IMRB’s primary survey of 35 single screen theatres across Kolkata and West Bengal revealing 30 per cent occupancy on weekends and around 20 per cent on weekdays.



The tastes and preference of viewers in Kolkata and rest of Bengal are quite different which is echoed by only handful of releases successfully straddling both geographies.

While original engaging content, a larger pool of good actors and directors and better in hall experience can drive Bengalis back to cinema halls.



The report was launched at CII Big Picture Summit – Vision Bengal, 2014 on 12 December. The CII has partnered with IMRB International to conduct a study on Bengali film industry that focuses on understanding the emerging business models, importance of internet and innovative viewer engagement methods that are vital for the growth of the industry. 



As a part of this project, IMRB conducted a first of its kind consumer survey across eight districts in urban West Bengal to learn the changing nature of film viewership and the general perception of Bengali films among its target audience. In addition to the consumer survey, a series of interviews were conducted to understand the trade insights of the film industry through in depth interactions with producers, actors, directors, distributors, exhibitors and broadcasters of Bengali cinema, it is further learnt.



“With the increasing investment in infrastructure and production as well as growing consumer interest in regional cinema, we see a very bright future for Bengali film industry which has always been a flag bearer of creative excellence. The study encompasses the key constituents of the industry - producers, creative artists, distributors- as well the opinions of consumers who decide the fate of the creative products,” said IMRB International SVP media & retail Hemant Mehta.



CII director General Chandrajit Banerjee said, “CII’s vision is to take the Indian Media and Entertainment sector towards achieving $100 billion by the year 2020. We expect that this growth will also come from regional media and entertainment markets across India.”



“Regional is the new national and it fits well for the media and entertainment sector. Bengali Cinema has an enviable past and it continues to be one of the most vibrant regional film industries in the country,” Banerjee concluded.

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