Category Archives: Kollywood

The rise of Korean film on the global stage

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Yoo Sun-hui, staff reporter, Hankyoreh

Parasite Family

S. Korean film industry eyes US market as “Parasite” dazzles American audiences

This year marks the centennial of the first Korean film, “Fight for Justice,” which debuted at the Dansungsa Theater on Oct. 27, 1919. Korean cinema has undergone enormous advancements since then. In May, the Hankyoreh began looking back at the path traveled by Korean film, sharing the stories of lost works, South Korean film stars, North Korean cinema, and women’s movies in an inaugural feature series titled “100 Years of Korean Film, 100 Works,” which highlights 100 quintessential Korean films. Now it is going beyond simply looking back on and assessing Korean film’s past and present to make predictions for its future. These days, Korean cinema is envisioning the “globalization of K-movies”: venturing beyond the domestic market into those of other Asian countries — and even Hollywood itself, the home of film. As another 100 years begins, can Korean film shift its position from the periphery of the global film industry to its epicenter?…

Parasite Korean Film

“Parasite” part of vanguard eyeing US market

The US debut of “Parasite” is being viewed as a test case for future Korean films. If the winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or prize proves commercially successful in America — and even gets honored at the Academy Awards next February — Korean cinema will be poised to make a major stride from the fringes to center stage. Positive signals are all around. In its first week, “Parasite” raked in US$376,264 in early runs after debuting on Oct. 11 at three theaters: the Landmark and ArcLight Hollywood in LA and the IFC Center in New York. Averaging US$125,421 per theater, it was the highest total ever for a foreign-language film premiering in North America. As of Oct. 18, “Parasite” had debuted at a total of 33 theaters in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, ranking 10th in the US box office 10 days after its release and 11th for its second weekend. By Oct. 24, its cumulative earnings had passed US$2 million. Critics and audiences have showered the film with praise. It had a “freshness” rating of 99% on the film review site Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 95 on the review aggregation site Metacritic. Celebrated directors Martin Scorsese and James Gunn have lauded it on social media as the “best film of the year.” Its Oscar prospects are looking brighter after Bong received “Hollywood Filmmaker Award” honors at the 2019 Hollywood Film Awards…

Screen Shot 2019-11-03 at 9.17.32 PM

Rapid strides toward globalization, Korea-US co-productions

Alongside the success of “Parasite,” the Korean film industry has been speeding up its efforts to make inroads into the US market. Its aim is to find new opportunities beyond the domestic film market, which has remained stagnant with cumulative viewership in the range of 200 million admissions for several years now. The US, which ranks as one of the world’s two biggest markets alongside China, accounts for 30% of global box office sales…

Stay tuned for more on this two-part series!

(Excerpted from hani.co.kr)

A new dawn in Kollywood?

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Sreedhair Pillai

Kollywood is looking for a bright and better 2017, as the industry has undergone a sea change in 2016. All aspects of Tamil film making —funding, distribution, marketing, exhibition, promotions and political climate — have gone through a metamorphosis. Demonetisation and the resulting lack of finance is making producers uneasy.

Last week, the single biggest deal was made for a forthcoming festival film’s most lucrative distribution territory. The deal between the distributor and the production house was done through their bank accounts via RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) instead of the usual practice of paying cash. The distributor had told theatres willing to pay advance, and in some cases MGs (Minimum Guarantee), for this big hero film, to route it via banks, and made it clear that he will not accept cash payments. The deal went off smoothly, with the distributor bragging that he didn’t even visit the producer’s office to transfer the amount.

A leading financier says, “Demonetisation and the number of raids that followed have ensured that producers settle their financiers in cashless transactions via cheques, RTGS, NEFT etc. Now, financiers are wary of funding films based on its negative rights. We need to know their financial background and if they will be able to pay via banks at the time of settlement before going forward.”

One of the lessons Kollywood learnt in 2016 is the importance of marketing and promotions in the success of a film. Films which were torn apart by critics, like Kabali, Remo and others, went on to become hits, based on their marketing, with influential local distributors getting them wide releases.

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Today, top stars visit popular screens in suburbs and small towns at the time of their film’s release. Dhanush’s visit to Tirunelveli Ram Muthuram for Kodi promotions resulted in huge collections for the film at that screen, and it featured at number four among the theatre’s top 10 collecting films of 2016.

The number of shows a screen allocates to a film too has become a barometer. At the same time, more than half the films suffer as theatres don’t give prime slots. The trouble is that theatres in the State have found alternative content, which is far more lucrative than Tamil films. Last year, the Tamil dubbed versions of The Jungle Book, The Conjuring 2, M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story and Dangal did better business than certain straight Tamil hits. These four dubbed films will easily walk into the top ten collecting films of 2016 from Tamil Nadu theatricals based on ROI.

Last week, some screens in Chengalpet area on Monday cut down the number of shows of new Tamil films released for Christmas on Friday and replaced them with Dangal!

It is clear that Tamil films that don’t open well during the weekend are today dumped, without even informing the distributor. Earlier, even if a film flops, it would survive a week, with the same number of shows given at the time of release. Theatres across Tamil Nadu are now finding it better to go for online ticketing, which brings them extra money via service charges. This has created a situation where online booking, especially in Chennai city and Chengalpet areas, will determine the number of shows allotted for a film.

The myth of so-called “low-class masala entertainers” performing better in B and C markets has also been blown away. 2017 will see a more unified box-office performance market across the State, which means that producers can’t make meaningless potboilers and say it is meant for a particular section of the audience. Non-big hero films are now in a process of cost-cutting, with production managers being pulled up and asked to reduce the number of shooting days. Directors, especially newcomers, have been told to bring down the number of scenes, with the final edited copy not exceeding 140 minutes.

As satellite prices are no longer attractive for small and medium films, producers are trying to explore digital platforms. The new team, which will take over the Tamil Film Producers Council in the first week of February, has their job cut out. A lot has been written about piracy eating into collections as technology improves, with many new films being uploaded on Facebook on the release day itself. Hence, the window between a theatrical and digital release will have to come down drastically this year. Tamil cinema producers and actors should realise that budget is the key to box-office success. The Tamil Nadu government should also implement the High Court order to increase ticket prices, which have not been modified for the last 10 years. Hopefully, Kollywood will see a new beginning this year.

(Source: thehindu.com)

 

5 women directors who made it big in Kollywood

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Srivatsan

Lately, women directors in Kollywood are making it big. In a male-chauvinistic industry such as Kollywood, women directors have never ceased to amaze the audience with a solid content. While filmmakers like Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde and Kiran Rao have carved a niche for themselves in Bollywood, women taking over the reins of direction is still a norm in Tamil cinema. However, we too have some maverick female filmmakers who left an imperishable mark among the audience.

Despite being a terrific actor, Suhasini Mani Ratnam is a great screenwriter. Suhasini made her directorial debut with Indira, which is probably the most underrated film and was a box-office disaster upon release. However, it received a cult status for its modern theme. The protagonist of the film is a woman who single-handedly strives to overcome the caste system in her village, and one has to give it to Suhasini Maniratnam for having carved an innocent but an impactful character in Indira. Apart from Indira, Suhasini has worked in Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan/ Raavan (2010). According to Mani Ratnam, it was Suhasini who wrote half of the former’s anthology political drama Aayutha Ezhuthu/ Yuva (2004).

Bankrolled by ace-filmmaker Gautham Menon, Veppam narrates a set of events from the slum areas of Chennai, showcasing characters and their struggles. Veppam, on many levels, is an unusual subject which one wouldn’t expect from a woman, especially in this genre (gritty thriller). Veppam had everything to hold the audience’s eyes- romance, drama and violence. However, the film failed to create the impact that of Selvaraghavan’s Pudhupettai (2006) or Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Aaranya Kaandam (2010). Be it the screenplay or the dialogues, Anjana Ali Khan has to be credited for the amount of detailing that went unnoticed.

Lately, women directors in Kollywood are making it big. In a male-chauvinistic industry such as Kollywood, women directors have never ceased to amaze the audience with a solid content. While filmmakers like Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde and Kiran Rao have carved a niche for themselves in Bollywood, women taking over the reins of direction is still a norm in Tamil cinema. However, we too have some maverick female filmmakers who left an imperishable mark among the audience.

Suhasini Mani Ratnam’s Indira (1995)

Despite being a terrific actor, Suhasini Mani Ratnam is a great screenwriter. Suhasini made her directorial debut with Indira, which is probably the most underrated film and was a box-office disaster upon release. However, it received a cult status for its modern theme. The protagonist of the film is a woman who single-handedly strives to overcome the caste system in her village, and one has to give it to Suhasini Maniratnam for having carved an innocent but an impactful character in Indira. Apart from Indira, Suhasini has worked in Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan/ Raavan (2010). According to Mani Ratnam, it was Suhasini who wrote half of the former’s anthology political drama Aayutha Ezhuthu/ Yuva (2004).

Anjana Ali Khan’s Veppam (2011)

Bankrolled by ace-filmmaker Gautham Menon, Veppam narrates a set of events from the slum areas of Chennai, showcasing characters and their struggles. Veppam, on many levels, is an unusual subject which one wouldn’t expect from a woman, especially in this genre (gritty thriller). Veppam had everything to hold the audience’s eyes- romance, drama and violence. However, the film failed to create the impact that of Selvaraghavan’s Pudhupettai (2006) or Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Aaranya Kaandam (2010). Be it the screenplay or the dialogues, Anjana Ali Khan has to be credited for the amount of detailing that went unnoticed.

Aishwaryaa’s 3 (2011) and Soundarya’s Kochadaiiyaan (2014)

After working as an erstwhile assistant director to Selvaraghavan, Aishwaryaa R ventured into direction. Her first feature film 3, which had her husband Dhanush playing the lead role, opened to mixed reviews from the audience. However, the song ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’ was a rage upon release.

Lately, women directors in Kollywood are making it big. In a male-chauvinistic industry such as Kollywood, women directors have never ceased to amaze the audience with a solid content. While filmmakers like Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde and Kiran Rao have carved a niche for themselves in Bollywood, women taking over the reins of direction is still a norm in Tamil cinema. However, we too have some maverick female filmmakers who left an imperishable mark among the audience.

Soundarya too didn’t have a rock solid debut. Despite working with superstar Rajinikanth in Kochadaiiyaan, the film failed to create the Rajini magic at the box office. Now, both Aishwaryaa and Soundarya are working on their respective feature films.

Lakshmy Ramakrishnan’s Aarohanam (2012) and Ammani (2016)

After making her acting debut in the Malayalam industry, Lakshmy Ramakrishnan proved her mettle in director Mysskin’s Yudham Sei (2011). Aarohanam was her first directorial venture which tells the story of Nirmala, the breadwinner of the family who goes missing just two days before her daughter’s wedding. Aarohanam was widely lauded for the director’s treatment of the characters and Viji Chandrasekhar’s performance. Lakshmy Ramakrishnan’s recent film Ammani too opened to rave reviews from the critics.

Sudha Kongara’s Irudhi Suttru/ Saala Khadoos (2016)

Sudha Kongara, who associate director for seven years with Mani Ratnam, made her directorial debut with the Tamil film Drohi (2010). However, it was R Madhavan’s Irudhi Suttru which gave Sudha the much-needed breakthrough in the industry. Irudhi Suttru tells the story of Prabhu Selvaraj (Madhavan), a boxer, is ignored by the boxing association. He tries to accomplish his dream by training Madhi, a fish-seller and an amateur fighter. As the film also marked the return of Madhavan, Irudhi Suttru was an instant hit and the film has now been selected to premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Also, the list becomes incomplete without Gayathri, whose dark comedy Va Quarter Cutting (2010) has earned a cult among the fans of neo-noir genre.

(Source: http://www.indiatoday.intoday)