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October-December 2010

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October-December 2010


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This issue of TW has two sets of page numbers - International pages TW-1 to TW-44 for TW, and India pages TM-1 to TM-24 for TM. TM is inserted between pages TW-34 and TW-35 of TW.

TM TheatreMagic

contents

Harman Digital Audio

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TECHNOLOGY

In Harmony With Time and Tide

6 Cometh Megaplexes!

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TECHNOLOGY

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Energising Anti-Piracy Mechanism

A New AACT To The Fore

MINDSCAPE TM EDITORIAL

Exploring Technology For some time now, Indian cinema had been exploring technology domain like never before. Even as the global cinema was zooming high and high in technology space, Indian cinema struck to its ground taking a long wait and watch approach. However, it took on the enticement of entertainment in its own inimitable style, in a controlled aggression. That the digital cinema is more than a reality in today’s cinema exhibition with DCIcompliant 2k and 4k, and 3D has proven to be higher and faster profit earner Indian cinema is now bracing the technology format to the extent it is reasonable.

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The calculated mood among the captains of exhibition industry was evident at a convention recently. Even as the technology exponents, business leaders and solution think tanks of global majors were pitching their sophisticated offerings most convincingly, the élan with which Indian cinema exhibition heads fielded them and voiced out the way they wanted it explained the meticulously scripted story they have in the making. If the mindset of the industry leaders is to be gauged correctly, all their upcoming cinemas in tier-I will be in DCIcompliant digital with one screen on each location playing 3D digital.

Concurrently, majority of the existing screens will be gradually converted to digital projection system. While the decision of digital transformation itself may turn in huge numbers for the format and its solution providers that almost all the national multiplex circuits have forayed into movie production and distribution, their calculation about doing digital appears clearly sensible. The move is potential enough to reshape the country’s cinematic image. Let’s see.

Bhavanashi Ramakrishna Editor, Theatre Magic


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Breaking News...

RoBOt Riches: The ‘Big’ Screen Show The much anticipated magum opus (Endhiran the) Robot is out, and immediately set the silver screen ablaze like never before- so much so that the existing incredible box office records appear set to be reduced to nothing in front of it. Even as Indian cinema continues to bask in the Dabangg glory, it’s been taken in for an outrageously hyped proposition- thanks to the Rajani-Shankar charishma that had redefined the way theatres are decked with movies in the country. A TM Snapshot.

Movie buffs who considered Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg has broken all the records of theatrical collections either in India or abroad – pushing even 3 Idiots’ credentials into oblivion – better take a second look at their assumption. For, here is something that is seldom seen in Indian cinema, perhaps, never again- the latest Rajani-Shankar mega graphic movie fare Endhiran the Robot has smashed many existing records within no time, and set to create an unsurmountable bar for any aspiring blockbuster. Consider the opening weekend net collections of five top blockbusters: • Dabangg: Rs. 48 crore • 3 Idiots: Rs. 38 crore • Raajneeti: Rs. 34 crore • Housefull: Rs. 31 crore • My Name Is Khan: Rs. 30 crore Now, look at what Robot had robbed: a whopping Rs. 70 crore on day one alone- almost 75 per cent more than what Dabangg collected over three days, and double to that of 3 idiots’

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collection. At this rate, the opening weekend collection – even as this piece goes to print – is touted to touch Rs. 300 crore which not only means overhauling the entire collection of 3 idiots in just three days but also recovering the entire investment on a huge profit note. More, as per cinema pundits familiar with Rajani mania, the movie is hyped to make at least Rs. 600 crore to Rs. 650 crore in its first run worldwide- which can make it the highest ever grosser in the country, and hard to believe anyone – except Rajani himself – would ever be able to conquor. Looking back at what happened during Shivaji’s release, this wasn’t surprising for many in the south where Rajani holds an indisputable sway. “With almost 3,000 prints worldwide and flexipricing facility allowing multiplexers charge premium prices for blockbusters, and the ever exciting Rajani mania, this need not be surprising,” points out a movie observer in Bengaluru. Here is a take endorsing the view. Admission prices at a top-notch multiplex in Bengaluru for Shivaji on the opening weekend shot up to over Rs. 1000, three times the regular price. The admission rate at the same cinema for Robot now stands at Rs. 1500. Entire tickets for the cinema are sold for the full week. No wonder while the cinema in question reaps gold at the box office, contributing yet another Rajani miracle.

Most multiplexes bank on this flexipricing faciltiy, particularly in the States of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh to rake in box office moolah, with Tamil Nadu being the lone exception- thanks to the control regime brought into place by previous government and continued by the current. For a casual observer, it might be a little intriguing. In 2008, when the Aamir KhanMuruga Das creation Ghajini broke all existing box office records, the industry thought that might be the industry zenith. It took almost 12 months, for another Aamir Khan flick agan – 3 Idiots – to break its predecessor’s box office record at the fag end of 2009. However, 2010 has been a different script altogether with Bollywood churning out a few blockbusters one after the other, and with a sort of vengeance following the eight-week


Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti came a close second to 3 Idiots with net collections of Rs 34 crore in its opening weekend. In the first five months of 2010, four movies, viz, My Name Is Khan, Housefull, Kites and Raajneeti touched the Rs 30 crore-plus mark in net box office collections in the first three days of release. On the tangent, only Kites and Raavan have been the two big let downs of 2010.

Reasons Clear:

theatrical shut down due to the standoff between exhibitors and producers. In 2008, Ghajini did a net business of Rs 29.5 crore in its opening weekend, which was the highest ever. 3 Idiots then followed it up with then monstrous net collections of Rs 40.5

crore in its opening weekend. On the other hand, big ticket movies that were released in 2008 and 2009 like Love Aaj Kal, Kambakkth Ishq, Singh Is Kinng, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi had opening weekend net collections ranging between Rs 25-28 crore.

Reasons for the change in situation are not totally intriguing, but very clear for a serious observer though. Increase in the theatrical footprint in the country during the year; increase in the film/digital prints; simultaneous worldwide release; and the much resented flexipricing. At the end of 2007, there were a total of 100 multiplex locations with an aggregate of around 400 screens spread over the country, dominated by the six national circuits: Big

The Rajani Charishma Indian cinema has its own ways unique ways of entertainment. The way it prepares itself for any blockbuster release is always an intriguing script in itselfparticularly when it relates new movie release from South Indian stars. Exhibitors make special arrangements in their cinemas for treating their patrons with ‘extra’ offerings. However, one cinema gone a giant leap ahead to prepare itself for the latest Rajani blockbuster Endhiran the Robot: the cinema shut down its operations for a complete overhaul of its auditorium- so much so that it gave an abrupt end to box office blazer Dabangg. Arora theatre in Mumbai, famous for screening Rajni’s movies, closed for renovation recently- a first of its kind in the country. Though the movie release was deferred by a week – from initially

proposed 24 September to 1 October – the cinema has been undeterred, even when it meant that it was ending abruptly the money-spinning Dabangg. “I don’t want to disappoint Rajani fans,” says the cinema owner Nambi Rajan, who himself is a great Rajani devotee. “Rajani’s release is like god is coming to cinema. In south India, his releases are like festivals and people paint their homes, so I am painting the theatre and remodeling the seats.” For him, the expense incurred for repairing the cinema is all worth. More than the excitement, it is for the firm belief that the investment will be recovered in a day or two of the opening weekend.

But what is more intriguing is that Rajan jumped into renovating the cinema just before it is slated for a permanent closure- to give in for a multiplex being proposed to come on the same site. The move for multiplex was actually delayed specially keeping in view the Robot release. The assumption is that Nambi Rajan and thousands of his patrons would have totally missed the greatest festivity ever had he closed the cinema for multiplex conversion. That couldn’t be! That’s Rajani Charishma!

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Cinemas, PVR, Cinemax, Inox, Fame Cinemas, and Fun Cinemas. There were regional circuits too like Wave, Satyam, DT, and SRS in the north who together accounted for another 90 screens approx. The latest figures till end June this year, as per the analysts, stand at 230 multiplex locations and over 850 screens. The number of multiplex screens across India has thus grown by approximately 220 per cent in the last three years. That multiplexes account for almost 80 per cent of total theatrical collections in the country has been an obvious booster for the box office riches. Most importantly, the admission prices at multiplexes. While the average ticket price (ATP) two years ago was ranging between Rs 180 and Rs 280 during the week and between Rs 280 and Rs 350 during the weekend, the same is up by at least Rs. 100 for both the categories. With increased number of screens and hiked up prices, collections were ought to be a windfall if the movie turned out to be good. Another important factor this year has been the breathing space between blockbuster releases- thanks to the newly discovered systemic release pattern. Due to the two-month standoff between multiplexes and producers last year, movies were released like a mad rush when the strike ended making the moviegoers spoilt for choice. With limited budget on entertainment spends, people prioritized their movie preferences, indirectly denting their collections, owing to their short screen-life. There has been a remarkable learning, it appears, among the producerdistributors this year in that they kept a minimum of two weeks gap between their big releases, thereby providing an opportunity for the movie enthusiasts to make a second visit to theatres in the same month. That has been a big booster, it is learnt. No Competition to Robot: Now, no big release in sight, and Rajani charishma swaying all over, Robot appears set to zoom into the sky of collections.

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All-Women Jury at MAMI 2010 The12th MAMI festival this year, apart from an array of critically acclaimed movies, will have yet another unique feature. It will play host to a first-ever for any film festival in India: its unprecedented power roster of an all-women jury. The Reliance Big Picture initiative, scheduled to be held from 21-28 October, will have four eminent women from global movie fraternity as its jury. The jury includes Tanya Seghatchian, Samira Makhmalbaf, Yoon Jeong-Hee and Suhasini Maniratnam. Seghatchian, winner of BAFTA Award for producing the critically acclaimed My Summer of Love, is currently head of the Film Fund at the UK Film Council. Makhamalbaf who directed a movie at the age of 17, won a Jury

Prize with only her second movie Black Board at the Cannes in 2000. On the other hand South Korian actress Jeong-Hee made a reputation with over 250 movies to her credit that is characterised by over 20 awards while Suhasini has carved a niche for herself with directorial ventures as well as production stints. She runs a production company Madras Talkies, along with her filmmaker husband Manirathnam. To top all, Hollywood-based filmmaker, screenwriter and producer Jane Campion will preside the Jury. Campion has won the Golden Palm award at the 1986 Cannes festival. Some of her critically accalimed movies include In the cut (2003) and Bright Star (2009). She won the Oscar for best screenplay for The Piano.

‘Gandhi Ki Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aanaa’ Indian cinema had seen and regaled in romances of Heer Ranjha, Laila Majnu, Shiri Farhad, Sohni Mahiwal. It appears time for one more take of such real-life-based-reel-story, but with a difference. Be geared up for a romantic comedy of a different genre, called Gandhi Ki Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aanaa. A movie remotely touching upon the emotional and unspoken love story of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi – with a modern touch of comedy – has gone on floors on a very symbolic day, 15 August. The movie, being produced by Kaytee Movies and directed by Pranav Dhiwar, is scripted by Rahul Patel and Varun Grover. According to Dhiwar, ‘the movie has no direct relation to the Father of Nation and his wife. It’s only a modern day adaptation with only names and a good inspiration. It is a story about a boy whose father was a freedom fighter. The father is so inspired by Mahatma Gandhi that he names his

son Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Similarly the girl’s name is Kasturba.’ Dhiwar is seeking to make a record of sorts with his debut directorial venture. He actually worked as an editor on movies like Mr Singh Mrs Mehta and Dabangg. He is currently directing a serial called Crime and Bollywood for Zoom TV. Dhiwar and his team is apparently unperturbed on the assumption that using names of Mahatma and Kasturba, two of the most revered figures in Indian history, would irk people. According to them, they are not dealing with any historical figure or fact; they are only making a simple comedy. They only adopted the characters’ names, and their traits are completely modern. Everything is being done in good humour. TV actor Karanvir Bohra, popularly known as Prem of Ekta Kapoor’s Kasautii Zindagi Kay, is playing Gandhi, while his female lead is yet to be found.


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Multiplex Money Matters Reliance MediaWorks’ Impressive Q1 Reliance MediaWorks Ltd., India’s fastest growing film and entertainment services company and a member of the Reliance ADA group announced that the company had achieved impressive growth for the first quarter of FY 2010-11 ending 30 June, 2010. The key financial highlights for the quarter under review are: •

Total Income from operations increased by 100 per cent to Rs. 208 crore as compared to previous year

EBITDA from operations stood at Rs. 20 crore against a loss of Rs. 9 crore in the previous year

Exhibition division revenues increased by 91 per cent to Rs. 135 crore, as compared to previous year

Film and Media Services revenues increased by 153 per cent to Rs. 73 crore as compared to previous year

According to the company, though industry witnessed an uptrend towards the later part of the quarter in line with the season, the figures are not strictly comparable with the corresponding period previous year, which was partially impacted by the strike between producers, distributors and exhibitors. During the FY 2010-11, the company expanded its UK presence with the installation of a second high-end neg bath, enabling the company to handle processing of bonded feature films for Hollywood, British and European producers shooting in the UK. It commenced its Media BPO operations and have created one of the world’s largest comprehensive single location digital restoration and content processing services facilities in India.

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Spread over 90,000 sq ft, the facility in its first phase incorporates over 500 digital workstations and employs trained digital image processing artists. As a part of the National Film Archive of India’s initiative for digital restoration and content processing of over 1000 classic films, Reliance MediaWorks undertook a pristine restoration process for Khandahar, which was showcased in Cannes Classics 2010. With over nine million admissions, BIG Cinemas has witnessed 82 per cent increase in footfalls this quarter compared to previous year. The company continues to maintain its strong investment phase and all its projects are well on track. As a result of the continued investments and stabilization of business verticals, the interest and depreciation charge, the company has recorded a net loss of Rs. 54 crore. “Reliance MediaWorks has delivered robust performance in the quarter and have started seeing strong returns on investments from the assets created in past 2 years. The forthcoming quarter has a steady movie line-up with more than 12 wide releases, which will help us leverage our leading presence across the entire film and media services value chain,” said Anil Arjun, CEO, Reliance MediaWorks Ltd.

PVR Revenues Up By 131 pc PVR Limited announced its un-audited standalone and consolidated financial results for the quarter ended 30 June, 2010. Total consolidated revenues for the quarter were Rs. 103.11 crore as compared to Rs. 44.56 crore during the corresponding quarter ended June 2009, showing a growth of 131 per cent. EBITDA for the quarter was Rs. 18.43 crore as compared to negative EBITDA of Rs 7.70 crore in Q1 last fiscal, showing an impressive growth of 339 per cent. PAT for the quarter under review was Rs. 5.07 crore compared to a loss of Rs 12.85 crore in the corresponding quarter of previous year. Main reason for poor performance in Q1 last fiscal was the eight week shut down of multiplexes following a stand-off with producers. PVR’s exhibition business revenues increased from 39.57 crore in Q1 200910 to Rs 94.84 crore for the quarter under review, with a growth of 140 per cent. Operating profit margin was 15 per cent on back of sustainable revenues generated from operations and good movie content (as against negative margins in Q1 last fiscal). PAT for the quarter was Rs. 4.52 crore, up by 135 per cent.


to create India’s largest network of state-of-the-art multiplexes across the country, we hope to maintain the growth momentum, deliver a world class film viewing experience to our patrons, and enhance value to our stakeholders.”

Fame Reduces Losses Multiplex chain operator Fame India improved its performance by reducing its net losses to Rs 3.66 crore in Q1 this year, as against a net loss of Rs 9.53 crore from Q1 of previous financial year. The company’s revenue, on the other hand, has jumped 139.4 per cent. During the quarter, the company had 5.1 million footfalls in its cinemas clocking an average occupancy of 29 per cent. The company at present has 32 properties with 136 screens across 18 cities and intends to open another 40-50 screens by March 2011 in key markets like Lucknow, Bangalore, Bhopal, Surat, Mysore, Delhi etc. The other subsidiary PVR blu-O which operates India’s largest 24 lane bowling center is adding another 3-4 new centers in next 12 months in Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Pune and other key cities of India. Commenting on the results and performance, Ajay Bijli, Chairman and Managing Director, PVR LTD, said, “This will also be a key year for production and distribution business with three key movies lined up for release in next six months and we are committed to build PVR pictures as a full scale distribution and production company.”

The company saw a rise of 132 per cent in its revenues, which stood at Rs 80.36 crore as compared to Rs 34.51 crore a year ago. The company noted that it must be kept in mind that last year, there were no new movies released in theatres during this period due to the strike between film producers, distributors and multiplexes. The company’s expenses jumped to Rs 72.77 crore in Q1 from Rs 40.05 crore in corresponding period last fiscal. “The first quarter results reinstate Inox’s firm ability to sustain a robust growth momentum and a profit leadership position in the multiplex industry,” Inox Leisure director Deepak Asher said. “Going forward in the quarters ahead, with some interesting content lined-up and with our focus

According to the company, the figures for the quarter are not strictly comparable with the corresponding three-months in the previous period, on account of business interruption due to strike called by the producers and distributors forum in the June quarter and on account of the service tax on rentals. While the company’s total income stood at Rs 39.9 crore as compared to Rs 16.25 crore in the previous year, total expenditure of the company increased to Rs 40.50 crore in Q1 this year, as against Rs 24.65 crore in the corresponding period last year. Fame’s theatrical exhibition business also improved significantly in that it reduced the operating losses from Rs. 7.45 crore incurred in Q1 of last fiscal to Rs 40.5 lakh in this quarter.

Inox Posts Profits for Q1 Inox Leisure Ltd. has posted net profit of Rs 3.52 crore in Q1 2010 as compared to a net loss of Rs 4 crore in the corresponding period last year. Operating profit of multiplex business was Rs 7.42 crore in Q1 this year as compared to an operating loss of Rs 5.58 crore in the first quarter of FY 2010. October-December 2010

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Aamir Ambassador to Live To Love

patriotic roles and exceptional work in films like Upkar, Purab Aur Paschim and Kranti. The Indian audiences have showered their love and appreciation on him for all his characters. The legendary actor-director had earlier been bestowed with Padma Shri Award, Phalke Ratna Award, Best Director Award, Best Actor Award, besides many more for his exceptional contribution to Indian cinema.

UK-based humanitarian initiative Live To Love has taken onboard Bollywood star Aamir Khan as its Global Ambassador. “Having Aamir Khan’s support for Live To Love is simply fantastic,” said its founder, and head of Drukpa Lineage Gyalwang Drukpa. “This move will help get more people around the world pledging to help each other,” he added. Live To Love UK is a new humanitarian campaign that aims at encouraging the world to open their hearts and minds to their families, neighbours and communities at large. A campaign that is bigger than any religion, faith, nationality, culture or conditions- this initiative is set to help us all make the world a better place. Many other global celebrities such as Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Michelle Yeoh were present at the event where Khan was announced as the global ambassador. “I’m delighted to accept this role and help support to such a major global project,” said Aamir. “Live To Love has already made a huge impact and helped hundreds of people around the world already. I’m looking forward to making a difference,” said Khan.

MAMI Honour to Manoj Kumar Veteran Bollywood actor Manoj Kumar, known for his patriotic movie fare, will be felicitated with Lifetime Achievement Award at Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI)’ 12th Mumbai Film Festival. The weeklong festivity is scheduled to be held from 21-28 October this year. The world of Bollywood best knows Manoj as Bharat Kumar for his

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His contribution to the Indian cinema is creditable for his involvement as actor and director in Bollywood with films like Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Sanyasi, Dus Numbri, Kalyug aur Ramayan and many more. “I am happy to receive this award,” says Manoj Kumar. “It’s as important as an Oscar.”

the extra-ordinary experiences that visitors can enjoy here,” says CTC president and CEO Michele McKenzie. Akshay, who has a strong relationship with Canada since 1995, will act as the CTC’s Ambassador for India until summer 2012. The partnership will involve familiarization trips (fams) across Canada, which will be captured for local and Indian media in video and blog posts. Says Akki, “I am very honored and privileged to have been asked to represent the CTC as their Ambassador for India and am proud to encourage and promote Canadian tourism in India to this great land and its warm people.” The CTC entered the Indian market in 2009 as part of its emerging markets strategy to inspire high-yield travelers to visit Canada.

Hollywood Honour to Nitin Chandrakant Desai

Akshay’s New Role: Ambassador of CTC Akshay Kumar has a new role. After carrying the Olympic Torch for Canada in Toronto during the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, Akshay is now Canadian Tourism Commission’s (CTC) Ambassador for India. In his new role, he will promote Canada as a premier four-season destination. “We’re thrilled that Kumar has agreed to be the CTC’s Ambassador for India. Having a superstar like him onboard to boost Canada’s profile within his country will help turn the spotlight on

India’s leading Production Designer Nitin Chandrakant Desai was honoured by The Art Directors Guild (ADG) Film Society and American Cinematheque, one of the most prestigious honour to the eminent personalities across globe. The moment of pride for the talented art director came on 29 August at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The 2002 magnum opus film Devdas, which showcases the brilliance of Desai was screened on the occasion. Desai is the first Indian Art Director and Production Designer to get this honour. This felicitation is one of the highest recognition for Nitin Chandrakant Desai for his outstanding contribution in the field of art direction and production design. The event witnessed a panel discussion moderated by production designer John Muto, which also included Sangita Shresthova, dancer, choreographer and media scholar, Nakul Dev Mahajan, an IndianAmerican dancer and choreographer known for his pioneering work in


been recognised in this way,” said Nitin Chandrakant Desai. Dedicating this achievement to his fraternity of Art Directors, Desai added, “I’ll always follow the path with dedication and sincere hard work and keep inspiring every Indian to achieve their goals.”

Bollywood dancing style on top TV show So You Think You Can Dance and Jack Rajsekar, CEO, Fusion Edge Media and Executive Producer of Enthiran- Robot. With over 25 years in the industry, Nitin Chandrakant Desai has been associated with blockbuster Indian movies such 1942: A Love Story (1994), Josh (2000), Jodhaa Akbar(2008), Lagaan (2001) and Once Upon a Time In Mumbai (2010) to name few. Desai has worked on more than 85 films. He has won National Award for Best Film Direction four times and in 1999, he won a Genie Award for Best Achievement in Art Direction/ Production Design for Such a Long Journey (1998). In 2004, Oscar winning director Oliver Stone teamed up with Desai to source locations for his film Alexander. Stone’s plans for his epic film required state-of the-art soundstage facilities, which did not exist in India. Taking a bold step, Desai immediately conceptualised a production studio in India, which would compete with the best in the world. Thus Nitin Desai Studios was born, with Desai personally supervising all aspects of designing and facilities. More recently, Desai has been praised for his work in Slumdog Millionaire (2008). He was the first designer to create a hydraulic set and director Danny Boyle was inspired to use a similar set in addition to the one built by Desai to reflect the interiors of the Taj Mahal. “This is an honour to me and my country. History has been made today. It is indeed a pleasure for me to get global recognition. This is an also a proud moment for Maharashtra. I’m extremely happy that my work has

Two Crowns for Yash Chopra King of Bollywood screen romance Yash Chopra is again crowned with two honours, coming in quick succession. While the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and International Federation of Film Producer’s Associations (FIAPF) presented the 78-year-old legendary filmmaker with the APSA 2008 FIAPF Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), affiliate body of University of London, conferred upon him the honorary DLit honoris causa, for his outstanding contribution to the field of cinema. The APSA Award was actually announced at last year’s APSA Ceremony only. However, Chopra was unable to attend due to a loss in his family. The award was thus presented to him recently during opening night celebrations of the Mumbai Film Festival by FIAPF Director General, Benoît Ginisty. APSA is an international cultural initiative of the Queensland Government, Australia and is a unique collaboration between CNN International, UNESCO and FIAPF-International Federation of Film Producers Associations. APSA honours the works of filmmakers across a region covering 70 countries, one third of the Earth and half the world’s film output.

the film community of Asia Pacific and a chance to create an award exclusive to the filmmakers and producers of this region,” Ginisty said on the occasion. “Tonight we honour a legend of the Indian film industry, Yash Chopra, for an outstanding career dedicated to cinematic excellence.”

YRC, DLit, Honoris causa: Some four weeks the APSA honour beckoned him, Yash Chopra was crowned with one of the most prestigious title in the Oriental worldthe honorary DLit, honoris causa given by the SOAS, the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Professor Rachel Dwyer, the public orator, read a citation in tribute to Chopra and the President, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, presented the degree. Professor Dwyer said that Chopra’s films use a melodramatic form to show emotions at their deepest and rawest. Yash Chopra’s love of London and his connections with SOAS, one of the first universities to offer a course in mainstream Indian cinema, began in 1992. “I am humbled by this honour and would like to thank SOAS for this recognition,” Chopra said on the occasion. “My film making has always been from the heart and I would like to pass on this same message to students all over the world”. Yash Chopra has previously been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by The Leeds Metropolitan University, UK in 2007.

“FIAPF has been involved with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards from the moment of its conception. It saw in APSA the opportunity for unique engagement with

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s,’ in Hollywood ‘Kaali - The Warrior Goddes have Indian characters and names eal, app al glob e hug a always had to tes rela it n whe particularly cinema. While Gandhi had won Richard Attenborough critical took acclaim decades back, Avatar ical nom astro the to eron James Cam , Now s. riche e offic box heights of it dess God rior War Kaali – The ities appears, to fight out the odd es. ienc aud al glob the d lbin and spel Ltd., High Grounds Entertainment has firm London-based cinema launched itself into making the dess movie Kaali – The Warrior God ie, mov The e. albeit with a differenc with on ciati being planned in asso noted sound recordist Walter to Anderson, will have no relation dess god an the much revered Indi will nor it will preach anything, it by ired insp only have characters myt holo gy. According to High Grounds CEO is not and producer Karan Arora, ‘it it has the story of goddess Kali and s. It nothing to do with the scripture is a complete fictional story. s in However, the looks and costume an the movie are inspired by Indi gy. holo myt

“We definitely have a few things in common like victory of good over evil. Also, in terms of looks, clothes and costumes, the movie is heavily inspired by mythology,” Arora was quoted as saying, “Kaali’s character has got power; she is someone bestowed with powers. All through these years you have watched movies like 300 and Avatar that have this characters from the West. Through aim our movie, from the very beginning, from r was to have our leading characte for the East. But this movie is meant international audiences!” ‘Kaali To be directed by Simon Hunter, the on go will ’ dess God - The Warrior d slate is and year next floors in April is get bud ’s film The ase. for a 2013 rele h whic of h muc on milli said to be $75 It will would be spent on technology. bed dub then and lish be made in Eng es. uag lang r othe us vario in Hindi and ie is According to him, since the mov the of h muc , going to be 3D with VFX ios, stud in shooting would be done be done though some shooting would movie is the in Eastern Europe. Though totally imaginary, and the

by moviemakers are not bound has ter geographical locations Hun US roped in technicians from the and Britain as well as a research the team from Kolkata to work on look of the movie. to On the other hand, Arora is said an mbi Colo rope to be planning pop sensation Shakira in the title is role. Though his signing her on ly rted repo is he d, not confirme li. excited about her donning Kaa al glob a ys enjo star That the pop Kaali audience, her screen avatar as in fans ie mov e driv to is expected . mas cine droves into dess So, be ready to watch the god er. geth of a different genre alto

Dhobhi Ghat at TIFF Aamir Khan starrer, and his wife Kiran Rao’s debut directorial venture Dhobi Ghat, had one of the rare honours. It was selected and premiered at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF ). The festival, held in the Canadia n cinema metropolis from 9-19 September, had a total of 15 galas and 35 special presentations. Having already won many criti cal accoloades, Dhobhi Ghat starr ed besides Aamir, Pratiek Babbar, Om Puri and debutant Monica Dog ra. Produced and distributed by Aamir

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Khan Productions the movie had its music scored by Gustavo Sant aolalla of Argentina. Dhobi Ghat is set in Mumbai and revolves around the lives of four

characters. In the teeming metropolis of Mumbai, four peo ple separated by class and languag e are drawn together in compelling relationships. Shai, an affluent investment banker on a sabbatica l, strikes up an unusual friendshi p with Munna, a young and beau tiful laundry boy with ambitions of being a Bollywood actor, and has a brief dalliance with Arun, a gifte d painter. As they slip away from familiar moorings and drift close r together, the city finds its way into the crevices of their inner wor lds.


Indian Cinema’s Global Appe al Indian cinema is riding a new high of international acclaim, part icularly this year. As many as half-a-d ozen movies have either been selected for special screenings at international forums or given chosen for an award. Count on them: •

That Girl in Yellow Boots, the Anurag Kashyap Hindi thriller co-produced by National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC) has been selected for screening 67th Venice Film Festival. The movie also had its North American premiere at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Udaan, another Anugar Kashyap venture co-produced by Sanjay Singh and UTV Motion Pictures and directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, has

won the Best Audience and the Best Music Score Award by the Music Conservatory of Salerno at the prestigious Giffoni Film Festival. The movie was also selected in the Un Certain Rega rd category in the Cannes Film Festival. •

Aamir Khan’s famed productio n Peepli [Live], which was also a debut directorial venture by Anusha Rizvi, was premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival. The festival, held from 22 July -7 August, also featured four othe r Hindi movies under a special category called ‘Not Quite Bollywood’. The movies inclu ded the much acclaimed Ketan Mar u production Ishqiya featuring Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan, besides Arshad Warsi.

Ishqiya, produced by Shemaroo Entertainment, actually stole the thunder from many international forums compare d to its Indian compatriots. It was chosen for screening at the Munich International Film Festival, and Bollywood and Beyond and The Indie Fest, held in Stuttgart, Germany.

Milan Luthria’s movie Once Upo n a Time in Mumbaai was chosen for screening under the Panorama Section of International Film Festival of India 2010.

Zee Talkies’ Marathi movie Natarang was chosen for screening at the 28th Munich International Film Festival.

So, it’s a gala time for Indian cinema. Is creativity among the new genre of Indian film makers taki ng a new upturn? Good for all of us.

Smita Patil Retro at MIAAC The Tenth Annual Mahindra Indo American Arts Council (MIAAC) Film Festival, scheduled for 10-14 November, 2010, at venues acro ss New York will have under its Fest ival Sidebar a retrospective on the late Indian actress Smita Patil titled: Bhumika - The Roles of Smita Patil. The event will be co-presented with the Film Society of Lincoln Cen ter. The MIAAC Film Festival is the destination for feature films, documentaries, and shorts from and about the Indian subcontinen t. Previous years’ enormously successful festivals have included the New York premiere of Dan ny Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, which went on to garner critical and box office success all around the world; Indian filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s Hea ven on Earth; and many others. The Mahindra Group makes significant contributions in the

fields of art and culture and has partnered with the Indo American Arts Council (IAAC) for the fourth year in a row for this festival. “MIAAC is yet another way of giving back to the communities we operate in. Bringing thou ght prov okin g, independent Indian cinema to New York also prov ides a global platform to Indian tale nt – so that they can rise and get international acclaim,” said Mah indra & Mahindra Vice-Chaiman and Managing Director Anand Mah indra. As in past years, the MIAAC Film Festival will feature a mix of film screening s, discussions on Indian cinema, indu stry panels geared specifically to film production in India, special even ts, nightly networking parties, an award ceremony and gala red-carpet opening and closing night events.

“This year’s festival promises once again to be a heady mix of terri fic films, stimulating conversation s, and fabulous events. I am thril led to work with our Film Festival Dire ctor, L.Somi Roy, to present an exci ting five-day showcase of the best of Indian filmmaking,” says IAAC executive director Aroon Shiv dasa ni. A closing night party and awa rds ceremony event will be held at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center on 14 November. October-December 2010

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TECHNOLOGY

Harman Digital Audio

In Harmony With Time and Tide Digital entertainment is all over the world, cinematically spoken. From the time THX evolved, through the Jurassic Park(s), Ice Age(s), and Toy Story digital audio had actually been ahead of video part the movie excitement. Now, with the cinematic entertainment specs touching new frontiers of technology, it’s not just visual aspect but also the audio that plays equally critical role in taking the audiences to the realm of excitement. Here is a take from one of the global audio majors. The increasing volume of quality 3D digital movies, record setting grosses, a compelling business model and an array of new viewing technologies- all indicate that 3D digital cinema is now finally reaching a worldwide success level. Indian cinema houses, being an important community, are not left behind in this trend. If the success of the recent Hollywood blockbusters like Avatar in Indian cinemas is anything to go by, 3D digital cinema is here to stay. In addition to providing a stunning visual experience, 3D Cinema also provides for any equally spellbinding audio experience for the patrons, due to a meticulous reproduction of uncompressed digital sound. Looked from this perspective, today’s cinemas require perfect coverage for every seat of the auditorium, wide dynamic range and extended bandwidth, as well as inaudible levels of distortion. Digital soundtracks, especially those tracks associated with the new digital cinema requirements like 3D cinema, require sound systems for premier auditoriums that can accurately reproduce the sound exactly as recorded. Digital soundtracks on today’s feature films have the potential of pushing traditional two-way speaker system designs beyond their performance limits. Requirements for wide dynamic range, high power handling, and low distortion dictate the need for a new standard of performance for today’s premier cinemas. With the new emphasis on 3D, the necessity of large-scale digital audio is realized, and for staying ahead of competition in the cinema world,

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cinema owners demand the best in digital sound systems. In a scenario of 3D cinema, digital projection ensures uncompressed playback. Hence there is need to ensure the sound systems at the theatres best supports the format of uncompressed playback and creates the best audio and visual experience. Harman Professional, through its key brands such as JBL in high-definition loudspeakers and Crown in premium quality amplifier systems, have built the best sounding, most reliable cinema sound systems, and also have collaborated with customers in the cinema space to help them stay ahead of the trends. A testimony to this assumption is the fact that most of the world’s flagship 3D theatres are equipped with Harman Professional products like JBL speaker systems. This also establishes that Harman’s cinema customers are among the bestprepared to capitalize on 3D and the JBL loudspeakers are best positioned

to most accurately reproduce the soundtrack as originally recorded. For Harman Professional, these advancements in cinema technology, holds tremendous potential and promise in markets like India where the cinema industry has seen paradigm shifts like – multiplexes, online bookings, enhanced AV techniques, digital playback. To address this market, Harman is continuing its tradition of innovation and has a comprehensive range of large format cinema sound systems and complete solutions from speakers to amplifiers, designed to enhance the 3D experience. JBL sound systems coupled with 3D display technologies delivers the most exciting cinematic experience possible, especially in the digital playback scenario. JBL’s ScreenArray 4-Way high power loudspeakers for large-format venues and its range of ScreenArray loudspeakers, coupled with the


TECHNOLOGY industry’s most complete line of subwoofers and surround components, have become a standard in cinema today. Harman designs and provides a wider, more cost-effective range of solutions to capitalize on the opportunity of 3D cinema. The company’s systems are developed by a team of AMPAS Scientific & Technical Award-winning engineers and incorporate ground-breaking, patented innovations such as Differential Drive woofers, neodymium, titanium diaphragm frequency compression drivers and highfrequency horn technology featuring Screen Spreading Compensation. The 4732 next generation ScreenArray features true three-way design enhanced by advanced engineering. JBL’s latest technical innovations are integrated into a system design that provides superior coverage, maximum power handling, and uniform acoustic power output, along with extremely low distortion. The ScreenArray design provides ideal power response and directivity control with seamless transitions between acoustic sections.

The 5000 Series Cinema Systems feature true three-way system design, with each section optimized for its specific band pass region. All systems feature the best of JBL transducer and horn technology to produce a system design with maximum power handling capability and acoustic power output, with extremely low distortion. The system has been designed with particular attention to power response and directivity control, allowing seamless transitions between the three acoustic sections and smooth timbral character — consistent with current industry listening standards. Among the world’s most iconic, successful theatres with 3D display technology are Mann’s Chinese Theatre and the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, both of which feature JBL ScreenArray sound systems. Harman’s iconic, audio solutions have been installed in cinemas across the world from United States to London to Bangkok, Thailand. In the United States, Cinemark, Extreme Digital Cinema locations throughout the country and the Muvico, Thousand

Oaks, California are all JBL large format installations and showcase 3D theaters. In London, The Odeon in Leicester Square and the neighbouring Empire in Leicester Square are long-time JBL sound system venues and among the foremost 3D sites in the UK. Sofia, Bulgaria’s Arena Cinema and the Major Cineplex World Plaza, Bangkok, Thailand are two more examples of industry-leading iconic theaters that have become 3D showcase venues and also boast ScreenArray sound systems from JBL. In India cinema owners do recognize the need to install 3D digital technology in their cinemas and we have seen an increased uptake for sound technologies which enable this effect in a cinema hall. Many of the leading chain of multiplexes in India have installed JBL range of loudspeakers especially for the 3D sounds and visual experience. Given that this technology is a new creative platform for filmmakers it also translates into increased revenues for the cinema community and ultimately brings new excitement to movie-goers.

October-December 2010

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TECHNOLOGY

Energising Anti-Piracy Mechanism

A New AACT To The Fore The ‘Continental Coalition’ that came into existence bringing together Bollywood and Hollywood sometime in the middle of this year to deal with movie piracy got into the act in the right earnest. While the coalition is given a specific body and soul with the name called Alliance Against Copyright Theft (AACT), it is also being strengthened with supplementary forces. Specific strategies are also being devised to energise the whole mechanism. With moves like MPDA Act and a draft bill in Parliament already in place, the latest moves are hoped to take the anti-piracy regime in the country to a new level of efficiency and efficacy. A TM perspective.

Following closely the formation of coalition between the Bollywood and Hollywood studios, the emerging coalition body has recently been named Alliance Against Copyright Theft (AACT). Formed to create a common voice to fight piracy, AACT

has as its founding members the biggies of entertainment IndiaReliance Big Entertainment, Moser Baer Entertainment, UTV Motion Pictures, and Eros International, besides the Motion Picture Distributors Association, the Indian arm of the MPAA.

As one of the initial measures of the new AACT, a dedicated website – www.aact.in – and a toll-free antipiracy hotline – 1800-103-1919 – have been set up. the hotline was intended to allow people in Mumbai and Thane to register their piracy complaints by

Anti Piracy Raids: Rich Haul Antipiracy raids conducted by Mumbai Police along with enforcement agencies from AACT have seized over 1,42,000 pirated discs in last six months, estimated to be worth more than Rs 1.42 crore. Over 50 raids have been conducted at various places across Mumbai, Thane and Ahmedabad during this period, and over 100 people have been arrested as a part of the operations.

conducting strategic raids on movie pirates throughout the country and has made 71 arrests, confiscating more than 90,000 DVDs in Mumbai itself and 35,000 in Delhi-NCR & Punjab.

Most of the raids conducted by AACT have been initiated based on information provided by common people. The participation from the public is an encouraging sign for AACT. Several raids have been planned in sync with the theatrical release of movies to restrain pirated copies of the new release from flooding the market.

of the Mumbai Police as also from various local police stations. Over the past three months of limited operations in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, Piracy has seen a drop of 20 to 30 per cent. Moreover, since the time the toll-free number is launched even the common man has been able to actively participate in curbing this crime.

According to a top exec of AACT member enterprise, the body has been dealing with the piracy menace seriously and with great positive support from the Social Service Branch

Rs. 1.25 Crore in Two Months: The AACT seized nearly 1,25,400 pirated DVDs/CDs in Mumbai and North India since August 2010 worth Rs. 1.25 crore. AACT continued its tactic of

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During August 2010, the coalition conducted more than 50 raids and made 56 arrests in Mumbai. In the first week of the month, AACT seized close to 31,000 pirated DVDs and made 10 arrests. Pirated DVDs of I Hate Luv Storys, Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, Raajneeti, Raavan, Aisha, Lamhaa along with English movies like Toy Story, Inception, Salt, Predators, etc. were seized during the raids. During September 2010 as well, pirated DVDs costing Rs 40 lakhs were seized from all over India. Close to 4000 pirated DVDs were apprehended from Mumbai, 22,800 from NCR and 12,600 from Punjab during the month. From NCR and the Punjab region eight DVD burners were seized and 15 arrests were made.


TECHNOLOGY website, it also has a strikingly attractive logo. In addition, the website provides up to date information about the agency’s campaigns and activities, as well as informational reports on piracy their bearings on the movie making and exhibition industries. For the recent UTV Motion Pictures and Dharma Productions release I Hate Luv Storys. Set up exclusively for Mumbai and Thane districts, emerging Bollywood stars Imran and Sonam were roped in to publicize about the utility of the anti-piracy toll-free service. The exercise was indeed reported to have yielded encouraging results.

calling the toll-free number without revealing their identity. Upon receiving the complaints, the law enforcement agencies would be immediately informed of the unlawful conduct. The

law enforcement agencies have already conducted over 100 anti-piracy raids in Mumbai alone this year. While the hotline number flashes visibly on the top left side of the

According to Harish Dayani, chief of Moser Baer ‘piracy cannot be eradicated or reduced just by a group of people working within the film industry, the public has to be involved in the fight.’ “With AACT we are trying to create awareness about the

Rs. 35 Lakh from Jalgaon: AACT, along with various enforcement agencies and local police, conducted raids across Mumbai and Jalgaon seizing close to 35,000 pirated discs estimated to be worth over Rs 35 lakh.

In one of the biggest raids conducted by a joint team from AA Khan & Associates along with a team led by Dy SP Tirupati Kakade in Chalisgaon, Jalgaon district, around 15,000 pirated discs were seized from a music and

mobile accessories shop. The pirated DVDs included those of Aisha, Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Khatta Meetha, Inception and Salt among others, besides inlay cards of movies like Peepli [Live] and We Are Family.

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TECHNOLOGY

enforcement raids based on intelligence reports and leads generated by complaints on the toll free number 1800-103-1919. A joint team from Mumbai Police and AA Khan & Associates conducted a raid across Kandivali East recently– with the entire team focused on just one area. As a result, they were able to ensure that all stalls in Thakur Village and Thakur Complex were closed for an entire day. With the success from this operation, they now plan on repeating this strategy in other areas where piracy is rampant.

damage piracy causes to us all,” says Dayani. “This toll free number does just that.” According to Motion Picture Distributors’ Association managing director Rajiv Dalal, “AACT provides a platform for the exhibition industry to come together and curb piracy.”

Anti-Piracy Squad The Maharashtra government, close on the heels of its decision bringing movie piracy under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, has also decided set up a dedicated anti-piracy squad to supplement the piracy prevention mechanism. It may be recalled that the MPDA Act makes the offenders liable for stringent punishment like that of drug traffickers. The Ordinance enacted to this effect equates audiovideo pirates with slumlords, bootleggers, drug offenders and dangerous persons, besides calling for the imprisonment of offenders for up to three years and / or a fine of up to Rs. two lakh. The anti-piracy squad conducts focused raids on the suspicious places of the alleged illegal activities leading to piracy. The decision to set up antipiracy squad also came in the wake of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) President Kripashankar Singh’s meeting

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October-December 2010

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and requesting the latter to initiate stringent measures on video piracy in the state. Acting tough on video piracy, Maharashtra Home Department would soon appoint a team to stop the business along with an anti-piracy law it has already implemented. Subsequently, the Maharashtra Social Service Branch and AACT swooped onto a piracy hub in Andheri West station, seizing illegal DVDs worth lakhs of rupees and arresting over a dozen people. Encouraged by the success of this operation, AACT and the enforcement agencies are now planning to replicate the strategy in other locations within the city. AACT is exploring the possibilities of implementing this model in other major cities across the country.

New Strategies The AACT, along with Mumbai Police has initiated new strategies to curb piracy along with conducting regular

The team also conducted anti-piracy raids, based on complaints registered on the toll free number. The first raid was conducted at Andheri West station on four stalls and a small warehouse where the team seized about 8,500 discs of latest Bollywood movies. A series of consecutive raids were conducted across Santacruz, Goregaon station and Jogeshwari in which the team seized close to 5,320 discs. They also made four arrests in the raids. A raid conducted across Kandhivili Mahavir Nagar fetched the team about more than 900 DVD. Another major step taken recently was conducting raids with a squad from BMC. The raids were conducted from, Bandra to Andheri, where the team along with a BMC van raided multiple stalls. According to a UTV Motion Pictures functionary, “AACT is dealing with piracy very seriously along with the support from the SS Branch of the Mumbai Police as also through the various local police stations. The enforcements’ innovative strategies and ideas will definitely work wonders towards helping the industry keep a check on movie pirates.”


October-December 2010

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October-December 2010


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