VKAAO, a joint venture between PVR Pictures and BookMyShow, is an on-demand screening platform. It allows customers to create their own screenings including date, time and place. One can also choose from screenings that are already available. Rima Das’ Village Rockstars, which is India’s entry to Oscars 2019, was screened to an overwhelmingly positive response by VKAAO. Indianexpress.com spoke to Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures, about the VKAAO platform.
Q. What can you tell us about VKKAO? How does it work?
VKAAO is a platform used for crowdsourcing movie events. You can watch films of your choice at cinemas most convenient to you. Essentially, the way it functions is that the niche films, or films whose release has come and gone, or films that need a specialised release… people who want to watch such films in cinemas can access them through VKAAO. So VKAAO is a platform that makes it feasible for customers to watch films of their choice at the cinema of their choice. This is one function. The second is event-specific. Say, you have a birthday party and you wanted to create a screening, you can select VKAAO as a platform to select the films you want to play and select the screens you want to play them on.
Q. Can one create a screening for any film or is there a library?
There is a library. You need to select films which are available on the VKAAO platform. At this point, you can have access to close to about 600-650 odd films, and we are adding more continuously. These are all curated films, films which are carefully selected. The number could have been much more — it’s just that we have chosen to go with select films.
Q. How many cities have VKAAO so far? Any plans for expansion?
VKAAO is available for all PVR cinemas. And PVR cinemas are spread across close to 55 cities and towns. So it has presence across the country.
Q. Are you confident of VKAAO’s success? Is there any competition?
We are extremely confident of VKAAO’s success and committed to its growth. It has been in operation since last February and we have been investing time and capital into its business. In terms of competition, I would say it is a unique concept. There are one or two other platforms but nothing much to speak about. VKAAO has carved out a niche for itself. It is about creating a new distribution platform. I don’t think competition is a challenge at this point.
Q. How was the response for Village Rockstars?
Very, very encouraging. Very positive. We are very happy with the response.