Vaishali Sarwankar
CEO & Director,
Carnival Motion Pictures

Regionally Rounded

The world is becoming one big global village, where individuals are fast overcoming language barriers. But there are some things that are best communicated in one’s mother tongue. Perhaps the emotions in the conveyed language are more profound. Back in the times, play-acting had been rigorously incorporated as an underlining means of entertainment and education in villages and cities alike. Today we harness technology to our advantage. We marry advanced sound expertise together with excellent videography, combining it with the flavorful whims of regional languages, in order to create compelling visuals that are capable of stirring audiences, in the country and around the world.

Regional growth

Cinema has served as a strapping medium, fostering education or change in society. Bollywood mainstream picked up vastly in the 90s in the overseas regions. With augmented travels and cultural exchanges, one witnessed a quantum leap in the demand for regional content and began marketing the same overseas. Regional content is not restricted to cinematic content alone but also caters to sitcoms, webisodes, documentaries, biopics, and so on and so forth. In the last five years, marketing regional content overseas has earned us a whopping Rs 250 crore. The market is expected to surge by roughly around 7 percent in the next five years. Growth for the same can be attributed to ever-emergent digital platforms. Easy access is not only about experiencing the evolving cinematic realm, but also for a growing demand for sitcoms that touch on an array of subjects. These subjects steer away from the regular run-of-the-mill family drama variant that the television has been dedicated to over the years.

Regional growth on OTP

Reed Hasting’s vision of delivering Netflix to the world has given rise to a whole new genre of fresh content. Since there was no restriction and censorship on the digital platform, the originality of the content is not discounted, giving writers the impetus to tap on an array of heart-warming subjects with a fresh approach. Take the Netflix original Marathi language film Firebrand, for instance. The movie has been well received even by the non-Marathi speaking audiences as well. This has pretty much changed the business dynamics of the cinematic realm too.

Government initiatives

Today, with a number of digital platforms mushrooming, access to regional content has simply plumed. This sudden upsurge can also be attributed to the government, who has furthered the initiative of creating and marketing regional content overseas in lieu of foreign exchange. Ensuring growth in the media has been part of the Make in India campaign, and the same has been actively fostered.

Traditional know-hows

India is known for its deeply entrenched traditional values. The cultural tapestry is rich and comes alive with vivid plots riddled with a labyrinth of emotions that can best be showcased in regional languages, which is precisely why at a recent press embargo, Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studio stated, Indian content is loved in many pockets around the world, as the stories are fresh and are bound by the rich cultural heritage and traditional values that the Indian society imparts.

Waves of patriotism

Indians living abroad actively endorse the demand for regional content. The reason for the same is heightened patriotic feeling for both the motherland and the homeland while living away from home. A simple narrative could take you back in time and enable one to forge stronger bonds with their roots.

End note

Subtitles that can be incorporated in any language is a serious growth-driver to the ever-growing demand for regional films. This also means that with the help of digital platforms, regional content is not only consumed by Indians residing abroad but also by natives who also belong to other countries. This also means that we Indians are also becoming automatic consumers to other international-language films, aided by sub-titles in the language of choice.

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