Great content is a result of skilled writing, direction and production. We believe in bringing stories that stay with our viewers for a longer time, says Ridhima Lulla, Chief Content Officer, Eros International.
As Chief Content Officer of Eros Group, how do you see the changing patterns of content consumption in India?
It is a great time for content currently in India. The ecosystem and the way we consume content is evolving. From 3-hour long films to 5-mins short snackable content, the co-existence of all formats is a reflection of the varied demands of the viewers. The platforms and genres have expanded as well as the audience base. More and more people are joining the digital wave to experience entertainment at their convenience. We, at Eros, believe in catering to this ever-changing pulse and by bringing the best of content to as many people as possible.
From the Eros film studio perspective, what are some of the films currently in pipeline? Two Eros International films are part of the official selections in Toronto and Venice…
Our film vertical has been rewarding this year. We released 14 films in the first quarter and the revenues were driven during the quarter with the releases ranging across regional languages like Hindi, Marathi and Bengali. We recently released Telugu film Saakshayam. Eros International has a comprehensive slate of forthcoming releases across genres and languages. Colour Yellow Productions’ Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi and Manmarziyaan are two releases that we are looking forward to in this quarter with Manmarziyaan enjoying a world premiere here at TIFF along with a Marathi and Malayalam release.
The next quarter will be exciting as well. Our ambitious project Tumbbad releasing in October, in association will Aanand L Rai, will be the first Indian film ever to open at the Venice Film Festival in the Critics Category.
We have various forms of content for consumption – theatres, TV, web-series, shorts for mobile, documentaries. Eros has been working with writers in recent years. Elaborate?
Great content is a result of skilled writing, direction and production. We believe in bringing stories that stay with our viewers for a longer time. Our content brings a dynamic blend of stories by some of the most celebrated writers as well as upcoming talent in the industry. Our recently announced joint-venture with veteran writer V Vijayendra Prasad is a step forward in collaborating with writers who are known for their stories and characters. Under this JV, we will jointly develop scripts, greenlight projects, produce & distribute films and web-series across Hindi, Telugu and Tamil languages.
Adaptation from best sellers are a current trend. Is Eros working on bringing books to screens?
Mythology, as a genre, is immensely popular in India. We have acquired the rights to adapt Indian author Ashwin Sanghi’s best-selling anthropological thriller ‘The Krishna Key’. We are looking at exploring theatrical as well as web originals with the written material, considering that there is a huge appetite for such content in both the formats. Apart from this, we are always searching for old or new written material, which we think could translate beautifully on screen. We are in the process of announcing some path-breaking acquisitions this year, and you will soon see Eros bringing some of the most popular stories to screen.
How do you see the potential for Indian films in China?
The audience in China is extremely receptive of Indian film content. Even though there are limitations in the number of foreign films being released, lately Indian films have performed exceptionally well. Of course, content is the key when you want to familiarise international audience with Indian films. This is one of the reasons why our film Bajrangi Bhaijaan worked well with the audience in China as the story has a universal connect. Also, we are collaborating with Kabir Khan once again for a travel drama with the working title – The Zookeeper, this would be the first of many films releasing from our portfolio.