Rohit Shetty: “I see no reason to compare us to Hollywood”

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There have always been comparisons between the Bollywood and Hollywood film industries. However Rohit Shetty explains it’s impossible to have the same budget for a Hindi action film as the American market.

Reported by ZEE News, Shetty who attended the recent FICCI Frames and sat on the interactive panel, says the two cannot be compared, unless Bollywood has a worldwide market. “I think we have the access to skill, computer graphics and other technologies. But we don’t have the budget for them. We do not get the required budget because we don’t have the market. I see no reason to compare us to Hollywood.”

For the ‘Simmba’ (2018) director, it boils down to the intense competition within India itself. “In Hollywood, they release a film in one language – English, and the whole of America watches it. But when we are releasing a film in Hindi in India, we are also competing with the regional film industry like Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Bengali and other films that are also doing well at the box office. That is why we have competition within ourselves.”

Drawing on the other aspect filmmakers face is that of limited screens in smaller towns, all adds to the barrier, says Shetty, “There is no doubt that the government should help us in the matter. We should increase screens in small towns. My last film ‘Simmba’, which was a huge hit, witnessed a footfall of 2 crore. In a country with a population of 135 crore, this is nothing, we need more theatres.” Further adding, “When we talk about theatres, the hall owners have their own issues of maintenance, stuff salary, etc. But we have to come together with the help of the government to find a way out to have more screens.”

The ‘Singham’ (2011) director, then lastly spoke about piracy that is still prevalent, “People prefer to watch movies on their mobiles because in an urban area like Mumbai, nobody wants to get stuck in the traffic for hours to watch a film. It is convenient for them to watch the pirated version of a film on their phones.”

“We keep saying piracy is happening, but who is watching them? We have to take a stand and stop watching films like that. Unless we do it, only the government initiatives won’t work,” added Shetty.

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