18th Pune International Film Festival: ‘Marathi films should have universally identifiable content’

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The panel discussion on ‘OTT platform and film marketing’ was organised by Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal. (Express photo)

Marathi films need to attract audience from India and outside, and filmmakers should make films that provide “universally identifiable” content, said music composer-turned-film director Dr Salil Kulkarni on Tuesday during a panel discussion on ‘OTT platform and film marketing’ at the Pune International Film Festival.

The discussion, organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal (ABMCM), was steered by Vinod Satav between film director Digpal Lanjekar, ABMCM president Meghraj Rajebhosale, film producer and distributor Dr Ajay Phutane.

“These days, Marathi audience often watches Malayalam film with subtitles. The same should happen for Marathi movies; they should be watched by audiences outside Maharashtra and elsewhere. Marathi producers and directors should make comprehensive films with rich universal content to appeal to the audience,” Kulkarni said.

The panelists agreed that OTT (over the top) platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and Zee5 have provided film-makers an additional opportunity to generate revenue.

“As for Marathi cinema, directors and producers should focus more on content and visual elements. The films shouldn’t have a staged feel like a theatre performance,” Kulkarni added.

Speaking on the marketing strategy for a film, Lanjekar said, “While writing a film, its marketing strategy should be considered.” Phutane said film-makers often ignored the distribution and marketing strategy and focused on it only after the film was ready.

“The marketing strategy must be prepared at the time of writing the film, so that it can be included in the film’s pre-production. If you look at the last two years, out of the total 119 Marathi films in 2018, only 17 were able to generate Rs 1 crore; while in 2019, 113 Marathi movies were released, of which 10 were successful with Rs 1 crore plus box office collection,” Phutane said.