As Hindi film Bhediya – featuring Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon – released in theatres on Friday, the experience won’t be limited to the Hindi-speaking audiences only. Even those who understand Tamil or Telugu can go to a theatre where the movie is playing in Hindi, plug in their headphones and switch to their preferred language. A mobile application called CineDubs now enables that.
“The original soundtrack of Bhediya – in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu – has been sourced from the production house and uploaded on the app,” explains Aditya Kashyap, co-founder of Delhi-based DubsWork, which has developed the free-to-use app. He adds that once you walk into the hall where the movie is showing and switch on your preferred soundtrack, the artificial intelligence component will automatically sync it and play it from the same second.
While viewers don’t have to wait for the movie to release in their language to be able to watch it in theatres, for the production houses and distributors, it helps expand their reach massively. Earlier this month, Telugu film Yashoda, with Samantha Ruth Prabhu in the lead role, had its original soundtrack in five languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada – uploaded on CineDubs, besides movies like Godfather, Karthikeya and Sita Ramam.
Kashyap, who has developed the app along with his brother and co-founder Vineet, calls it “a language-agnostic solution”. While it took them three years to develop the app, it took another year or so to get their first movie. CineDubs launched in July this year with R Madhavan’s Rocketry in six languages, including English.
Upcoming movies include Vijay Anand, Kabzaa, Michael and Dhamaka in December, Veera Simha Reddy and Varisu early next year, apart from Om Raut’s Adipurush, Kashyap says. While the response from production houses down south has been largely positive, many Hindi filmmakers are not ready to share the original soundtrack for free. But Kashyap, who has patented the app not only in India but also abroad, says they don’t plan to charge for the app. He adds that they are also in talks with studios abroad – including Warner Bros and Universal Studios – to release language soundtracks of upcoming Hollywood movies.
DubsWork is part of the first Film Technology Exhibition at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, showcasing technology and various elements pertaining to film art/cinema and aesthetics. Others include 360VRX, which offers virtual reality and Metaverse development services; Silence Acoustics, offering acoustics and soundproofing solutions for studios; and manufacturers of cinema equipment such as Sony, Canon, Zeiss, Red, Leica, Altas, DZO, Aputure Lights and Hansa Cine Equipment.
“The first edition of the Film Technology Exhibition has brought in the best tech in Film production as part of the festival. This is an opportunity for film students and professionals to update themselves and learn what is the latest in the market,” said Director FTII Sandeep Shahare.