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    Cinema Beyond Borders : International Distribution & Co-Productions

    • 11.06.2024
    • By Gayathiri Guliani
    Kleos Entertainment Group


    In this Industry Spotlight with Creative First, Gayathiri Guliani, consultant for Lionsgate India and founder of Kleos Entertainment Group with over 25 years of experience, joined Lohita Sujith, Sr. Director, Copyright & Digital Economy, Motion Picture Association to discuss filmmaking across borders.

    Gayathiri reflected on her three-year journey with Lionsgate, highlighting the dynamic learning environment and growth opportunities. She delved into her roles in licensing and content partnerships, explaining their importance in syndication, strategic alliances, and regional market growth. She discussed her latest project, Demon Hunters, an India-Taiwan co-production, emphasizing its cultural significance and positive reception at the Cannes Film Festival.

    Gayathiri also shared insights into the intricacies of co-productions, particularly with Taiwan, citing cultural similarities and mutual learning. She elaborated on the challenges and strategies in activating distribution channels both locally and internationally, stressing the importance of cultural sensitivity, legal compliance, and market research. She further reminded us that countries have different laws; what is legally important in one country may not be in another and vice versa.

    The discussion also additionally included sustainable growth strategies which emphasized on prioritizing creativity, innovation, and audience engagement over short-term gains. Consistent delivery positions content for success in the media landscape. Regarding content development, Gayathiri highlighted an audience-centric approach, quality and originality, diversification, and flexibility.

    She then discussed how securing rights for a literary work or an intellectual IP can influence script and production decisions – even casting and production designs. She further elaborated on the differences during the post-production stages, as she explained compliance with licensing and distribution, as well as outbranding, is unique when the film is an adaptation. Gayathiri also placed a strong point that all of this requires careful coordination between creative teams, legal advisors, and potential partners.

    Towards the end of the discussion, she advocated for stronger legal enforcement, anti-piracy technologies, and public awareness to combat piracy. She suggested educational campaigns to promote ethical consumption of content to shift the attitude towards piracy in order to combat it.

    Gayathiri concluded by identifying key geographies with growing demand for Indian content, including traditional markets like the US and UK, emerging markets in Latin America, and expanding digital platforms. She also expressed optimism about the future of Indian cinema on the global stage.


    Gayathiri Guliani

    She has meticulously crafted impactful partnerships with industry titans like Sony Pictures, Disney, Star, Reliance, Viacom, and Lionsgate. With over 25 years of experience, she has distributed over 55 films and sold more than 2500 hours of content globally. Her pivotal role in reshaping Indian cinema’s global footprint includes opening new markets in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Morocco, Spain, Egypt, and Russia, where she was recently awarded by the Cultural Minister for reopening Bollywood films after a 30-year hiatus. Her accolades include several prestigious awards such as Global Woman Leader, L'Oréal’s Wonder Women, and Women of Excellence. She is also a distinguished participant in high-profile forums like Digital Davos, part of the World Economic Forum. She is a key opinion leader at prestigious events in the media and entertainment industry. Her venture, Kleos Entertainment Group, is producing the first International Co-production Film between India and Taiwan - Demon Hunters. This project was featured as one of the top three hottest projects from Taiwan at the Cannes Film Festival 2024 by Screen International.