A Glimpse Into The Regional Film Industry

Eminent Film Business Astrologer™ Hirav Shah believes, ” it’s up to us to make anything good or bad.

Meanwhile, in 2021, Bollywood is walking a “not so good” path owing to innumerable factors, but the regional film industry has indeed started to walk a (good) path of new possibilities, Tells Hirav Shah.

Here we have rounded up the seven most influential Indian regional film industries you should be aware of.

1.Telugu film Industry

The Telugu film industry is yet another South Indian film industry that closely follows behind Bollywood in reach. Based in Hyderabad, which also happens to be the location of Ramoji Film City – the largest film studio complex in the world – the film industry has been immensely influential in shaping the course of mainstream commercial cinema around the country.

2.Kannada film Industry

Based out of Bengaluru, the Kannada film industry produces around 200 films each year – thereby marking itself as one of the country’s largest. Known locally as Chandanavana, and around the country as Sandalwood, this film industry has managed to produce a steady stream of both critically acclaimed and commercially successful cinema.

3.Tamil film Industry

Headquartered in Chennai, the Tamil film industry is the second largest in India in terms of revenue and distribution. The Tamil film industry hasn’t just found a steady fan base in the state of Tamil Nadu and across South India, but also in pockets around the globe – from Southeast Asia and Oceania to parts of Europe, Africa and North America.

4.Marathi film Industry

Co-existing with powerful Bollywood in Mumbai, the Marathi film industry is the oldest in India – claiming among its filmography Raja Harishchandra (1913), the country’s first full-length feature film. Continually producing critically acclaimed films for over a century, the Marathi film industry has carved an important space for itself as one of the country’s most influential regional industries.

5.Malayalam film Industry

With strong trends of social realism and character-driven stories, Malayalam cinema has earned a reputation for itself as one of India’s most noteworthy. Known locally as Mollywood, it also happens to be one of the country’s leading regional producers of cinema, producing well over 100 films a year.

6.Bengali film Industry

Perhaps the most critically acclaimed of all regional industries, Bengali cinema has its roots in 1920s with the first feature Billwamangal coming out in 1919. Since then, the industry has been in the forefront of India’s parallel or alternate cinema scene. With direction from celebrated filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, this film industry has established itself as one for cinephiles and film festival goers.

7.Bhojpuri film Industry

Though Bhojpuri language is often considered to be a dialect of Hindi, Bhopjpuri cinema has emerged as a vibrant entity of its own over the years. The industry first came to be with the release of Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo in 1963 after India’s first president Dr. Rajendra Prasad requested for a film to be made in Bhojpuri language.

Regional Film Industry “On The Rise”

Film Business Strategist Hirav Shah outlines 10 reasons for the rise of the Regional Film Industry.

1.Pandemic Effect

Regional films could definitely benefit at the cost of Bollywood. Big Bollywood movies have been pushed indefinitely as of now, with star vehicles, 83 & Sooryavanshi & dozen others
scheduled for a late 2021 release. Date not confirmed, month not finalised, nothing finalised in fact…

Clearly, Bollywood producers do not see value in experimenting with a theatrical release until people flock back to cinemas in significant enough numbers.

2. Less New Offerings

Bollywood’s chances for a quick recovery are more muted. Coupled with the lack of new offerings and endless number of lockdowns in film territories , making a comeback seems like an uphill struggle to many.

3.Regional Is Rooted

While other language industries are more organically rooted, Bollywood has been far too obsessed with the American movie industry and in trying to come across as niche, experimental and intellectual, has alienated a lot of audiences over the past few years.

4.Regional Big Budget Spectacles

In fact, it is interesting to note that the south Indian film industry, which has long set the bar for big-budget spectacles with movies like Baahubali, 2.0 and Saaho, is prepping with a slate of exciting films to draw audiences to theatres in the uncertain times post the pandemic.

Made on big budgets of more than ₹200 crore each, these will be shot in multiple languages including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, among others, and feature a mix of Bollywood and south Indian faces to draw on fan bases across states and geographies.

While Baahubali director S.S. Rajamouli has Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt star alongside Jr NTR and Ram Charan in his upcoming movie RRR, Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan will be seen with Baahubali and Saaho star Prabhas in a film bankrolled by Telugu production house Vyjayanthi Movies.

5.Discontent

As the self-appointed face of Indian cinema, it is time Bollywood realizes it is just another language movie industry.People have been getting tired of it (Bollywood) and that discontent was brewing.

6. Backlog

The Hindi film industry makes around 2,000 films a year, but there’s space for only 200-300 to release in the 9,527 theatres in the country. Around 30-40% of the films made in the past five years have not been released. With at least 20% of the country’s screen count having been wiped out by the pandemic, prospects for only the regional films are good, who can directly release on the OTTs and satellite.

Keeping the backlog in mind, many Bollywood producers have deferred upcoming shoots even if their individual state has permitted them.

7. Incorrect Strategy

Bollywood business opportunity was missed by not cashing in on holiday weekends like Republic Day earlier this year when a mainstream Bollywood entertainer could have hit screens to gauge audience sentiments.

However, producers who have long waited for pan-India theatre reopenings say it was too big a risk when unlike regional cinema, Hindi films seek wide releases across the country, many centres in which were operating at 50% capacity.

8. Local Video Streaming Apps

Meanwhile, several opportunities have opened up for regional language-specific streaming services, which were in a nascent stage of growth before the covid-19 pandemic.

Hence, there is bound to be more growth, particularly with more regional platforms emerging. It has taken television 50 years to reach 80% of India’s population, while OTTs have already been embraced by 70% of the country’s online population.

Video streaming apps are a prime example of how one should never waste a good crisis.

It also helps that streaming content is now being watched by people as old as 55 plus, often with the family, bringing them into the fold of what was considered a medium for the young and, thereby, necessitating more content in local languages.

9. Bridged Gaps

The boundaries between Bollywood and regional films broke. The lines were blurred long back, infact…Opines Hirav Shah.

Remaking South Indian films into Hindi was the first step. Additionally, the success of Baahubali franchise and KGF has worked wonders. Also, with OTT platforms streaming movies with subtitles, the fan base and viewership of regional films has multiplied rapidly.

Even earlier before the lockdown, audiences used to regularly see films primarily in four languages, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali & Malayalam. And yes, during the lockdown there is an extra urge to identify good regional contents and see them, tells Shah.

10. OTTs : A Boon

Today regional cinema has gate-crashed the digital streaming party. The lockdown has been good for the regional film industry—no expensive locale shoots, no big travel and no hotel bills. The coronavirus panic helped the success of relatively smaller films on OTT (over-the-top)streaming media services that go directly to viewers via the internet without the multiplex experience.

Ever since R Madhavan’s Breathe came out, small films have been striking golden deals with the platforms. Earlier, they ran for a bit in theatres, but launching them straight on OTT has become a more viable option.

It’s great that their films are striking deals instead of waiting for theatres to reopen.The increased visibility is a boost.

Medium-budget films struggle to get more than 200 theatres. OTT platforms take them to many more people. Thanks to the influx of original content, even small regional films without a star can make a tidy profit.

Conventional pressures from the theatre distribution system don’t bog down a bunch of experimental filmmakers from creative novelty.

Final Thought

There is an incredible slate of regional films in 2021. Some have released and some are on their way…

The Malayalam language line-up includes big star vehicles including Mammootty’s The Priest and Mohanlal’s Marakkar besides medium-budget offerings like Operation Java, Varthamanam and others.

Telugu superstars Pawan Kalyan, Chiranjeevi, Prabhas and Allu Arjun are not too far behind, having scheduled their films Vakeel Saab, Acharya, Radhe Shyam and Pushpa, one for each month starting April, going as far ahead as October with Baahubali director SS Rajamouli’s new film RRR.

After the success of Master, there are movies lined up across languages, even in Bengali, Bhojpuri and Punjabi.

All in all, now is the “Golden Period” for the regional film industry and “This” is likely to continue as well…Hirav Shah Concludes.

Who Is Hirav Shah

Hirav Shah is a well known Astro-Strategist and an Entertainment Business Astrologer™.

He is responsible for bridging the gap between creativity and hard-headed business strategy.

Since, the film industry breathes on insecurities, Astro-Strategy and only Astro-Strategy can provide the much needed clarity, certainty and security, Believes Hirav Shah.

Hirav’s scientific approach to astrology combined with practical day to day methods of handling matters, makes him an exceptional expert of the field and hence he is a “brand” today in the film world, with his clients ranging from all big studios to houses to top celebs…