From exotic outdoors, multistarrer cast to international releases and animated content, production houses in Bengal are revising their content to bring in novelty to their releases and profits to the box office.
Tollywood that slipped into Rs 100-crore loss in 2015 has been running on a loss for three years in a row. In a desperate manoeuvre to save the industry from a catastrophe, production houses have pulled up their socks to make their films commercially successful.
Houses like Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF) is concentrating on experimenting with content.
SVF is targeting nine to 11 releases this year which include detective thrillers, romcoms, multi-starrer flicks and also plans to launch a few well-known faces on silver screen. The biggest release of the year from SVF would be Chander Pahar 2 with investments to the tune of Rs 15 crore making it the biggest budget movie in Tollywood after the film’s first part that was released in 2013. Chander Pahar was not just the first Bengali film o be shot in South Africa with a budget of Rs11 crore but also the highest grosser at the box office till date. “We will shoot extensively in Brazil for the sequel and we are hoping we’d turn more heads that han the first movie,“ said Shrikant Mohta, co-owner at SVF.
Chander Pahar, that was released as Mountains of the Moon in the USA in 2013, will have an international release or its sequel too. The house is planning an outlay of close to Rs30 crores in the 2016-17 fiscal.
Ashim Samanta, son of director Shakti Samanta, who founded the Shakti Films banner is bringing in the first Bengali animated movie to town. He would be ying up with an animation house to come up with the animated film based on he story of Goddess Durga. “It is not possible to come up with a realistic film on Durga, so we are trying animation to bring the story to life,“ said Samanta.Investments to the tune of at least Rs5 crores would go into the making of Durga, The film is in the scriptwriting stage and is slated for a 2017 Durga Puja release. “We are planning various other fresh content projects and newer formats which are all in the discussion stage and shall soon see the light of the day,“ he added. East India Motion Pictures have also been promised subsidies by the government to promote regional films.“We have been in talks with the chief minister and will be submitting a memo to her with a detail account of the kind of co operation we are expecting from the government. Apart from this, the tourism department is also in talks with us and might soon make it a mandate to provide subsidies to film makers who popularize the locals by shooting the entire film in Bengal,“said Krishna Daga, vice-president of the East India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA).