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Privé World Box Office bridges the gap between Indian cinephiles & foreign films

Privé World Box Office Screenings will premiere new foreign films in India.

MUMBAI: While Cinema is said to be a universal language, most of us grew up watching only Indian or Hollywood movies. However, of late, viewers increasingly value quality of storytelling and entertainment over the language of the content itself. it is for these movie aficionados that English language movie channel &PrivéHD launched ‘Privé World Box Office’ – a new category to curate foreign movies from around the world. In a freewheeling chat with Indiantelevision’s Shikha Singh, ZeeL premium channels business head Kartik Mahadev spoke at length about the decision to bring foreign films for Indian audiences, the programming line-up and more.

Edited excerpts:

On the decision to curate foreign films for the Indian audience.

In the quest for entertaining cinema and exceptional storytelling, cinema lovers occasionally come across foreign films through word of mouth but they do not find enough supply or a clear destination to watch them. Our aim was to solve this consumer challenge through curation of titles from ten different languages that have been loved by audiences in their origin country.

On how foreign films will create an impact on the Indian audiences.

Director Bong Joon Ho in his award-winning speech at the Golden Globes made a very pertinent remark as he teased moviegoers to embrace the ‘one-inch-tall barrier’ to explore a world of amazing films. Today, the consumer appetite for world-class movies transcending languages has been witnessing a rise by leaps and bounds. Our offering has been crafted with insights that aim to bridge the gap between the Indian film fans and the universal narratives in foreign language films.

On the promotional campaign and the creative team behind it.

We have arrived at ‘feel at home, no matter the language’ as the core messaging to bring to the fore a curation of foreign movies with familiar themes that are relatable and enjoyable. Flux @ The Glitch was roped into helm the light-hearted campaign along with Jigar Fernandes, Third Floor Films, who brought the vision to life with his direction. The film marks the return of the legendary Deepak Tijori along with the evergreen Renuka Shahane who brings their expertise along with the new age internet sensation Rohit Saraf. Through the lens of a typical Indian family, the film captures a relatable situation in a foreign language through a fun-filled banter amongst the family.

On the programming line-up.

The offering includes a mix of genres ranging from romance, drama to action and comedy thus catering to the tastes of all movie lovers. A new movie will be released every week with our viewers having the option of watching the movie at their convenience on any day of the week @9 PM. Some of our key titles include the latest instalment of the biggest French action franchise Taxi 5, the top-grossing Norwegian monster movie, Ragnarok, one of the craziest French love stories, Jeux D’enfants aka Love Me If You Dare, The Idol (Arabic) directed by the two-time Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad among others. Some of the other titles to premiere include the French comedy, Fonzy, the Chinese neo-noir crime thriller The Wild Goose Lake, the Norwegian drama film based on a real-life event, Utøya: July 22 and others like The Farewell (Mandarin), Headhunters (Norwegian) and Pain And Glory aka Dolor Y Gloria (Spanish).

On advertiser interest and sponsors on board.

While consumers undoubtedly are at the core of what we offer, our major focus in 2021 is to delight our brand partners by providing value through our offerings. We have seen great sponsor interest for the property with Cetaphil onboard as the presenting partner and Standard Chartered as the special partner for the block.

On the marketing activations to bring this offering to audiences.

With the Covid2019 outbreak, we have witnessed a surge in television viewership alongside brands engaging on digital through Live video formats. In the English cluster, we have adopted digital engagement alongside television as part of the channel marketing strategy. We had a robust marketing campaign rolled out across TV, digital, trade, on-ground screenings and bolstered via PR that targets the six metros. Digital has always played a pivotal role in our marketing mix. Through Rohit Saraf and Renuka Shahane's social media handles, we teased movie fans with a teaser that intrigued the movie lovers, which was later released across digital and TV. We also hosted a fun-filled Valentine’s day activity with Rohit Saraf on Instagram reels, which garnered immense traction via UGC as fans reached out to the actor with their proposal messages in a foreign language.

On the channel’s plan for 2021.

In the coming months, we will have the Ticket To Hollywood movie airings for the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. We will continue to bring originals on Zee Café that add to the repertoire of locally nuanced content along with iconic international shows. The foreign language premieres as part of Privé World Box Office will continue to entertain movie fans with new movies every week through the coming months and we have more in the pipeline. So, all in all, it’s a promising and packed content line-up for the Zee English cluster.

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