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For Yoodlee Films, regional pastures appear to be greener than usual

With Zombivli in Marathi and Super Senior Heroes in Tamil, the production house grows beyond the Hindi film industry

It is ironical that Indian cinema despite all its diversity has been equated only with Hindi cinema, while the masterful works of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Jahnu Barua, Ritwik Ghatak, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Govindan Aravindam and so many more have been clubbed under the blanket term, ‘regional cinema.’ Ironically, be it Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (Bengali) that took international film festivals by storm in 1955, or Pawan Kumar’s 2013 hit Lucia (Kannada ), or Chaitanya Tamhane’s 2014 modern classic Court (Marathi) or Abhishek Shah’s 2019 film Hellaro (Gujarati), many of the landmark films the world remembers us most by, have come from the so-called regional makers.

Siddharth Anand Kumar, Vice President – Films & Events at Saregama India Ltd, says, “At a time when OTT platforms have blurred the line between national and international cinema, by making them both equally accessible, it makes sense for production houses like ours to tell diverse narratives in various languages. Just the fact that Indian audiences now consume films like Parasite (Korean), Uyare (Malayalam), Super Delux (Tamil), and Knives Out (English) with equal enthusiasm, proves that cinema just needs to be engaging to strike a chord. The so-called vernacular content also connects to demographics that have not been represented enough and hence we are looking for stories that say something new in languages other than Hindi. We are making films for anyone who appreciates quality content along with an unusual take on different genres.”

Yoodlee Film’s first Marathi offering Zombivli, directed by Aditya Sarpotdar, is a horror-comedy featuring zombies while the Tamil film Super Senior Heroes directed by Karthik Kumar is a bittersweet slice of life narrative. This will be their second Tamil film after K.D. which was directed by Madhumita Sundararaman.

The production house is part of a growing tribe of makers who want cinema to transcend the language barrier and to tell stories that resonate with everyone – from OTT subscribers in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, to rural Indians discovering digital entertainment for the first time to avid film lovers in metro cities. The Hindi film market will continue to thrive but now there is increasing awareness that there are many more markets to be tapped.