Mumbai, Jan. 4 -- Last year, two big names in Bollywood, film-makers Kiran Rao and Karan Johar, decided to take the road less travelled. Showing their support to independent cinema in the country, the duo presented smaller films in their individual capacity to ensure that they received a wide release.
While Kiran was associated with the much-acclaimed Ship Of Theseus (SOT, 2013), Karan presented The Lunchbox (2013) that starred Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Likewise, another leading production house presented Shahid (2013). And this year, the trend continues.
First up is Miss Lovely, which is getting a release on January 17 in over 400 screens. It will be followed by the critically acclaimed Nitin Kakkar's Filmistan with similar numbers to boast of. Trade analyst Komal Nahta explains, "Indie films are being supported by corporates and big names like Karan and Kiran as well as other big distributors. They're now able to get a wide release, albeit mainly in the big cities. There's an audience for such films and their market is definitely coming up."
In fact, Kiran's production house will mainly support such films since she wants these projects to get a bigger platform. Divulging the scale of the release of Miss Lovely, BL Gautam, who is distributing the film, says, "We are looking at a nation-wide release and will cover all major territories, including north-eastern states." He adds that the positive response from exhibitors and multiplexes to the changing times has helped the emergence of independent cinema in a big way.
Incidentally, while talking about SOT, Kiran had reportedly said, "We are releasing in mainstream cinemas, but we are having a very limited release. Unfortunately, we don't have sort of arthouse cinemas in this country where I could have released it. So since we do have only the option of releasing it in only local multiplexes, I am jumping at that alternative because there is no sense in sort of going straight to DVDs or other options for small films (sic)."