Gone are the days when Children’s Film Society, India (CFSI) used to make films for youngsters from grants and then distribute them for free.
CFSI, after having existed virtually without any revenue model for over half a century, has in the recent past experimented with some marketing and distribution innovations leading to successful revenue generation, says CFSI CEO Dr Shravan Kumar.
“In one of our recent experiments that we ran on a pilot basis, we tied up for distribution with PVR chains in Delhi and Ryan International School students,” he said.
Under the tie-up, PVR charged the school a minimum ticket price for showing film ‘Gattu’ and shared the revenue with CFSI on a 50-50 basis.
We made a revenue of Rs 1,50,000 from just 12 shows over a 2-week period, he said.
This experiment was repeated in Mumbai with similar results and now it is ready for a nationwide roll-out.
We expect to use these innovations in marketing and distribution aggressively during this financial year and target about 50-60 per cent additional revenues, apart from the regular revenue streams of theatrical release and online showcase of films among other activities,” Kumar told PTI.
The lessons learnt from the commercial release of ‘Gattu’ in 2012 were helpful in developing this model.
We first concentrated on improving the quality of production. Sometimes the entire scenes were reshot and on some occasions even the editors were changed. The results were very encouraging, he said.
‘Gattu’ went on to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and won national and international acclaim for its unique Indian style animation, whereas ‘Kaphal’ got the national award for best children film.
With a world class film line-up, we are confident of competing in the market, the CEO said.
CFSI’s latest projects include ‘Pappu Ki Pagdandi’ and ‘Bhujang’. Singer Mika Singh has sung a song in ‘Pappu Ki Pagdandi’, which is ready for release.
Keeping in mind the taste of audience, CFSI has prominently combined the flavour of education as well as commercial value in it, he said.
Interestingly in the past, CFSI films were directed by some of the most distinguished names of Indian cinema like Mrinal Sen, Satyen Bose, Tapan Sinha, K Abbas, Shyam Benegal, MS Sathyu, Sai Paranjpe, Budhdhadeb Dasgupta, Santosh Sivan, Ram Mohan, Rituparno Ghosh and Pankaj Advani.
“With the release of ‘Gattu’ last year through a tie-up with Rajshree Films, it was the first film in the 57 years of history of CFSI that was commercially exhibited in theatres.
In the last year, CFSI produced ‘Kaphal’ and animation film ‘Goopi Gawaiya Bagha Bajaiya’ for children, organised several international film festivals in Hyderabad and other parts of country,” explained Kumar.
The 18th International Children’s Film Festival, organised by CFSI in Hyderabad last year, had exhibited 205 Indian and international films from 75 countries and were seen by more than 200,000 students.
With Indian children being continually exposed to international series and cartoons, development of original content has been a deep-rooted requirement for Indian cinema, he said
CFSI was set up in 1955 and since then it has produced, exhibited and distributed over 250 films for children including feature films, short films, animations, television episodes and documentaries.
Good days seemingly will soon come for CFSI as its films start making money like commercial movies, making it one of the profitably-run institutions, Kumar said.
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