Indian footprint in the global market is small despite making around 1000 films a year, says Gaurang Jalan, designated representative for Indian films in Cairo Film Festival.
Jalan is the adviser & representative of the Festival International du Film d’Amour de Mons (MonsInternational Love Film Festival).
“In the global context, Indian footprint is small. Though we make over 1000 films, Indian films are mostly seen by the Indian diaspora. We have to focus on global content. We have to focus on niche audience.
“We have to connect with them with a world story,” Gaurang told PTI during his recent visit to the city.
Jalan said two Indian films were selected in this year’s Festival International du Film d’Amour de Mons – “Majhi the Mountain Man” and “Rangrasiya”.
“We can actually send a lot of films once the appetite picks up and festivals pick up. But for French speaking places and Spanish speaking countries we have to arrange for French subtitles and Spanish sub-titles where English will not work. In Cairo we are doing Arabic sub-titles and that clicked.”
Jalan was instrumental in releasing “Chennai Express”, “Krishh 3”, “Dhoom 3” and “Happy New Year” at the festival theatres in Egypt.
“The new generation (in Egypt) love to watch our kind of films. Aamir (Khan), Shah Rukh, Salman Khan are liked by them very much. Mr Amitabh Bachchan is still very popular. Among present age actors Irrfan Khan has a wide fan following. The new generation is liking our stars now.”
“In Cairo, the situation is unlike Belgium and some other French/Spanish-speaking nations as all Indian films are sub-titled in Arabic and the block-buster genre films by the popular stars are screened in theatres and local channels which draw from Indian showbiz content,” he said.
Asked about the most deciding factor behind selecting an Indian entry in the prestigious film festivals, Jalan said, “Our jobs as representatives is to send the best film every year.”
The Cairo film festival consists of two segments, the children’s section which will be screened in March this year for which a number of Indian entries have been sent. The other section will take place in November-December.
“Several of our (Indian) films had been going to Cairo since 2001 and the package now consists of different Indian languages Punjabi, Bengali, others besides Hindi,” he said.