Indywood seeks to beat Hollywood!

Indywood seeks to beat Hollywood!

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 5 Dec 2017, 10:50 AM

Last updated: Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:41 PM

The UAE thinks big and turns dreams into reality. The country comes up with concepts which are realised with unbelievable ease and perfection. So, it's no wonder that UAE-based NRI Sohan Roy is toeing the same line of thought, and has come up with a ground-breaking project to redesign the Indian film industry to better Hollywood.
Yes, Roy has a $10-billion project Indywood, which aims to elevate the Indian film industry to global standards in the next five years through a consortium of 2,000 Indian billionaires and corporates.
Roy is the founder director of Indywood Film Carnival, a four-day gala event that was recently held at Hyderabad's Ramoji Film City - the world's largest film studio complex. The event saw the launch of Indian Billionaires Club, which will give wings to the big 'Indywood' dream. With the Indywood project, Roy seeks to set up 10,000 new 4K projection multiplex screens, 100,000 2K/4K projection home cinemas, 8K/4Kfilm studios, 100 animation/VFX studios and film schools conforming to international standards. Excerpts from an interview with the entrepreneur:

What is your grand vision with this $10-billion Indywood project? What made you think of such a concept?
Indywood will integrate the entire Indian film industry, making it really professional and will bring it on the top of Hollywood within five years in terms of revenue and all other figures. This concept was born when my Hollywood movie Dam999 released in 2011. The movie suffered due to the poor condition of the Indian film industry, especially in terms of quality of the projection, distribution and other things. After the first day of screening, I had to remove the 3D version from theatres because of the poor projection system. This is normal in almost all Indian theatres. We shoot in 4K, process in 2K and project it in 1K. And people believe that this is the movie. Indians never get to watch a movie in good quality. I wanted to change the system and I started this project two-and-a-half years back.

How do you plan to bring various regional players, including Bollywood, under one umbrella?
The industry will automatically move over to the new system once we have sufficient New Generation screens under one umbrella. People will follow new theatres, just like what happened in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. When we made the first theatre as part of this project, we changed the quality to include dual focal system and people started flowing in. When we have around 2,000 multiplexes all over India with this kind of quality, naturally the entire system has to change. Why will Bollywood or other industries keep away? Everyone will benefit and our target is to raise the total revenue of the industry by 10 times. I don't think there is difficulty in integrating.

How will Indywood revolutionise marketing and revenue generation?
When the quality of the theatres increase, naturally people will be willing to spend more. The main revolution is going to happen with the introduction of an annual ticketing system where everyone can watch 52 movies a year. An average Indian watches two movies a year and we will change that. Not only movies, theatres will be used for multiple purposes like morning hours for tuitions and evenings for sports activities. Theatres will be equipped with child care centres, parking spaces and food courts. For those who come in the day time, the charges will be very less because of the annual ticketing system.

Is the launch of the Billionaires Club the first major step towards Indywood?
This edition of the Indywood Film Carnival is three times bigger than last year. The main surprise of the event was the launching of the Indian Billionaires club. More than 50 Indian billionaires from the UAE also participated. If every country comes forward, this consortium of 2,000 people can be formed in less than one year. The minimum requirement to get a slot in the consortium is that the member should make a multiplex in their home town using their branding budget. In the next five years we need to make India a hub for animation and post-production work.

How will expat artistes benefit from initiatives like Indywood?
Lots of expats will benefit from the Indywood Talent Hunt. We have received tremendous response from countries like the UAE and Kuwait. The event will be conducted in a big way next year. We need to conduct tough competitions to identify the talents required for the film and animation industries. Once this track is set, we will go for an international talent hunt process.
Who is Sohan Roy?
Sharjah-based Sohan Roy is the chairman and CEO of Aries Group, a multi-national conglomerate in the Middle East with 45 companies operating in 15 countries across the world. In Kerala's state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, the group runs Aries Plex with a 4K projection theatre, Aries Vismaya Max Studio with a post-production facility. Roy directed the Hollywood movie Dam999. The screenplay of the movie was added to the permanent core collection in library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has pioneered the concept of building dual 4K multiplexes and 4K Atmos home cinemas in less space. Roy is listed as one of the top Indian business leaders in the Arab world by Forbes Middle East 2017.

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes

More news from