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“We are planning to open smaller theatres in tier 2 and tier 3” : Pankaj Jaisinh of UFO Movies

Pankaj Jaisinh of UFO Movies

A session to discuss the experience of watching a film on a big screen in theatres took place at FICCI Frames fast track event.

The panellists included prominent Distributors and people from the film exhibition sector like Mr Pankaj Jaisinh, CEO (Film Distribution), UFO- Moviez, Mr Kunal Sawhney, COO, Movie Max, Mr Rockline Venkatesh, Exhibitor and distributor and Mr Lada Gurden Singh, General Manager & Head, Sony Pictures International while Akshay Rathi, Director Aashirwad Theaters Pvt. Ltd. moderated the session.

Pankaj Jaisinh spoke about demolishing the language barrier even when it comes to theatrical films, “It has helped ancillary industries. It is about good content and not about the language. Also, it is about one film being available at different price scales…Morning shows, afternoon shows and evening show at different prices. Audiences can then choose to watch the same film at their comfort price in theatres. Karthikeya 2 started with 50 shows for the dubbed language and went on to 1200 shows pan India because of word of mouth.”

In terms of tier 2 and 3, “We are coming up with smaller screen cinemas with the same kind of experience. People want comfort. It will be tier 2 and 3 where the money will come from.” informed Mr Jaisinh who has distributed films like 777 Charlie and Karthikeya 2 pan India.

Mr Rockline Venkatesh, a prominent name in the south said, “After the pandemic, a drastic change has happened. Audiences become dependent on OTT while they were stuck in their homes. People are watching content in various languages and content became the star. So now a film has to offer a lot more; this change is good”

Kunal Sawhney, COO, Movie Max talked about the benefits of OTT platforms stating, “OTT has benefitted actually. Because people are being exposed to films from all across the country and the globe, people are open to watching films in different languages even in theatres. South films doing well across India is an example.”

Talking about the ticket pricing, Kunal added, “the ticket pricing is debatable. I feel that depending on the budget of a film or an experience that a film is giving, the right product has to be given at the right price.”

Lada Gurden Singh spoke about trying to cast a wider net, “We are a Hollywood studio but we are very passionate to back stories that are rooted in India. We want to cater to audiences in any part of the country. We want to tell stories that resonate with a wider audience.” He said.

Kunal Sawhney also added in his concluding remarks “We all know the importance of tier 2 and tier 3. It is important not only for cinema chains but also retail.”