If you’re a Kannada film buff living in the States, the chances of catching the latest Sandalwood releases are quite high, thanks to the plethora of namma movies being showcased in foreign countries. From Ondu Motteya Kathe to Shuddhi and Kirik Party, a host of our movies have made it to videsi shores. That’s not all, the cast and crew too are travelling to various foreign lands to promote their films.
The latest movie to go global is Suni’s Operation Alamelamma, which will be showcased in USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Singapore and more. OA’s lead actor Rishi opines, “It’s a fantastic trend. A large part of Kannadigas have moved to USA, thanks to the software boom and they’re young. We want to reach out to them. Not every film can be accepted abroad. Content-driven/multiplex movies usually have better reception than mainstream films. We opened bookings for a show in Australia on August 12 and it’s almost sold out. We’re looking at September second week for a USA release. If we promote it as an Indian film, we’ll get a wider audience."
Blockbuster Kirik Party broke records at the US box office racing ahead of Rangi Taranga. The flick was received well in other countries too and saw the stars interacting with delighted fans abroad. A few months ago, actresses Sruthi Hariharan and Shraddha Srinath travelled to Europe to promote their film Urvi. “We went to Leverkusen, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Brussels and Eindhoven (Netherlands). The response was decent. More promotions would’ve garnered larger audiences, but they were really happy to watch it with us,” reveals Shraddha.
The gripping Shuddhi too released abroad. The film’s director Adarsh Eshwarappa says, “We had forty shows over one week in USA. We also screened it in Australia, Singapore and Germany. The response wasn’t huge, but it was pretty decent for a movie with no big stars. The trick is to release it when there’s still hype in India. In our case, we waited for a month. There was no proper marketing, so it affected the film’s occupancy. It all boils down to how well you market the film and timing of the release,” he adds.
As for filmmaker Pawan Kumar whose work has a huge following abroad, his latest production Ondu Motteya Kathe premiered at the New York Indian Film Festival, which he attended. “It’s good to showcase the film abroad at festivals before release, especially if it has the potential to garner a worldwide audience. We get live feedback from audiences and it gives us confidence to have a mainstream release at home. OMK got a good response and 60 per cent of the audience comprised people who watched UTurn and came back for this one. It helped create a buzz on social media,” says Pawan, who feels that OMK had an upper hand as it was a comedy. “NRI fans look for content-oriented, films. Currently, we don’t have professional distributors — we just have passionate NRIs who take it up."...