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Saregama Gets Into Film Production With Yoodlee Films

The company is already ready with five films, first of which "Brij Mohan Amar Rahe" will release on September 1

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Music Company Saregama is venturing into movie production with Yoodlee Films where they will target the young, global-cinema loving audience by releasing one film every month.

The company is already ready with five films, first of which "Brij Mohan Amar Rahe" will release on September 1.

Vikram Mehra, MD Saregama, said they realised that there was a potential market that was untapped while doing a pan- India research for their music in 2015.

This led the formation of Carvaan, a music structure with 5,000 songs and Yoodlee, whose name is a tribute to singer- actor Kishore Kumar, famous for his yodeling.

"We realised that while the 40 plus crowd wanted to listen to the songs of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. The younger crowd, between the ages of 18-35, wanted more gritty and realistic cinema. What had happened that through Torrents, the youth was exposed to what was happening in the cinema in other parts of the world? Netflix had not happened yet and we felt there was a market for films that would target this viewership. We got in touch with the directors and decided to come up with films where the emphasis is on realistic stories," Mehra told PTI in an interview.

To avoid getting into the trap of producing a "massy" film, driven by a big star, Mehra said the company has decided to steer clear of big Bollywood stars.

"We need the best actors who can tell the story compellingly. They don’t need to be a star. If a star is coming in as an actor, we are happy, otherwise the story is our hero. Fearless Filmmaking is our brand positioning. The films will be shot on real locations and the length will be kept to maximum of 120 minutes as the attention span of the youngsters is limited."

The independent cinema market in India is still struggling to find its feet when it comes to generating profit and reaching out to the right viewers, despite a growing interest from both the audience and the talent.

But Mehra is confident that they will be able to sail through the problems plaguing the indie cinema market with their unique cost-effective method, where they will ensure that the budget of the movies does not exceed and the films get a theatrical release.

"To keep our costs down, we are coming up with a large volume of films and on-the-set, production cost will be kept in check by Ernst & Young on a daily basis. The key talent will have a profit sharing of 30 per cent, not more, not less and we have PVR Pictures as our distribution partner.

The company will release films in only top 10-12 cities instead of going for a mass release.

The streaming services have become the next big thing in India with the young crowd shifting to Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar but Mehra does not see them as competition.

"Netflix is not a competition for us, it is a potential partner. We will only be into production, we will not launch our own app. It is a good thing that so many of these companies are mushrooming as they will need content which we will have."

(PTI)


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saregama Yoodlee Films bollywood netflix Kishore Kumar
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