Density & Distribution : The Theatrical Landscape In India
By Pankaj Jaysinh
UFO Moviez India Ltd
In this Industry Spotlight with Creative First, Pankaj Jaysinh, CEO Film Distribution & Film Services of UFO Moviez India Ltd, joined Lohita Sujith, Sr. Director, Copyright & Digital Economy, Motion Picture Association to discuss distribution, cinemas, and the future of film.
The conversation started on the topic of marketing films. Pankaj acknowledged that social media has become one of the main sources of marketing a film. He uses the example of a movie, Red, which was released by PVR without any traditional publicity, yet the film still did really well—something he stated could not have happened earlier.
When asked about next big market to watch, Pankaj explained that prior to the war, Russia was on everyone’s radar. However, with the war this has changed. Of course, China and the Middle East are still growing.
Pankaj then explained how UFO was able to really grow in India as the only truly pan-India distributors in the country. With 24 offices across the country, they have feet on the ground which makes a huge difference. This has also helped smaller films to become bigger.
The conversation then moved on to key challenges. For example, Pankaj highlighted low screen density as a major factor. He suggested that the government tackle this by offering long-term leases to cinemas and to incentivize the building of pin-code wise cinemas. He used Andaman-Nicobar as an example, stating that the union territory has only one cinema. He pointed out that it is important for cinemas to be maintained in order to assure they do not close.
As far as production is concerned, Pankaj explained that many states are making their own “film cities”. In his opinion, the state government can provide support to building film cities that are modern and technologically-equipped. In Pankaj’s opinion, this can help local filmmakers make higher quality films, and in turn, this allows them to reach wider audiences both in and out of India.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pankaj Jaysinh is the CEO - Distribution and Film Services for UFO Moviez India Ltd. He has more than two decades of experience in Distribution and Exhibition of Indian and Hollywood films. At UFO Moviez, he is responsible for UFO Moviez Network’s pan India Sales and Distribution. He has been instrumental in leading UFO Moviez to its leadership status in terms of network strength. Prior to joining UFO Moviez, he was associated with Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd and was responsible for setting up the Distribution Department of the company and has successfully released many big banner films. He has worked closely with the distribution departments of Warner Bros., Columbia Tri-Star Films and Sony Pictures Entertainment. He is a Management Graduate from Case Western Reserve University, USA.