Sanjay Suri: “Releasing & marketing a film has become tougher than ever”

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Actor and producer Sanjay Suri, has spoken about the benefits of having a digital platform for today’s filmmakers,  but also spoke about the struggles still faced when releasing a film in theatres, due to high costs.

Reported on TNIE, Suri who recently gave an interview with IANS, explains why it has become difficult for filmmakers like himself. “I think indie films are real stories that we are making out of passion. We do not have anything – the luxury of the budget or the star power to pull the audience in the theatre…Nothing. All we have is a story. Yes, in the last few years, the opportunity of telling slightly out-of-the-box stories has increased. But releasing and marketing a film has become tougher than ever, and that is worrisome for filmmakers like us.”

Suri further adds how those in the industry making indie films are restricted which he puts down to paid promotion as the reason. “There is a monster called paid promotion or what you called advertorial that is ruining the room for us. Look at any mainstream media today. We do not get a place to promote our films because we do not have such huge budget…”I think we should learn it from southern film industry where they have a limitation on promoting a film and its ticket price. I know it is an anti-capitalist, free market also, but today this mindset is reflecting on every publication where they are supporting some trashy films because that banner is able to pay the amount of money to the publication,” added Suri.

“They don’t give space to a good film in their magazine or newspaper because we have no money to buy media. Doesn’t it also reflect their editorial stand on new-age cinema?” Questioned Suri.

Asked how he feels about the big stars like Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar presenting more meaningful cinema, and whether this will give more opportunity for producers that make indie films, Suri replied, “If I am making a film without a big name, it is still as difficult as it used to be. We can make a film in Rs 50 lakh now, but surely cannot release it on that same amount. That scene has never changed for a producer. No.”

However Suri can see some light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of digital media. “I think in the coming few years, many indie filmmakers will find a prominent space in digital media, and will be making more web-series and short films. It’s going to be a gradual shift, but I can see it is happening.”

Suri has been in the industry since the late 90’s. He started of his career in ‘Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi’ (1999). Since then, Suri is now co-owner of the banner Anticlock Films with filmmaker Onir. Together they have released several films such as, ‘My Brother Nikhil’ (2005), ‘I Am’ (2010), ‘Chauranga’ (2014) and ‘Shab’, which is set to release in June this year. Their new project, ‘My Birthday Song’, featuring Suri, is also the directorial debut of Samir Soni. The trailer will be out today and the film is slated to release on the 19th January.

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