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Small Budget Films = Big Money

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As soon as we think of Bollywood, the first thing that comes to our mind are lavish sets, exotic locales, big budgets, designer costumes and of course, the mandatory song and dance.To an extent, this description perfectly and completly suits the Indian film industry which churns out around 900 films a year…the most by any country involved in the film making business.

For an industry which started making films while still under the British rule, the Hindi film industry or ‘Bollywood’ as it is better known has surely come a long way and it is only ironical that a film industry which started out by making silent films is now associated with song, dance, and music.

However, this conceptualization of Bollywood as an industry making big budgeted candy floss films is slowly changing and that too, for the better.Gone are the days when age old stories of a poor boy-meeting-rich girl and falling in love were in vogue.The directors of today are bold and brave enough to tackle modern and contemporary issues in an equally gritty and realistic manner.

Films like A Wednesday, Manorma Six Feet Under, Bheja Fry, Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local, 13 B, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Aamir, Shaurya, Welcome To Sajjanpur and Dev D amongst a host of other films, though small budgeted not only managed to get rave reviews for their brilliant story telling and sterling performances but also managed to rake in some moolah at the box office.

A major reason for the success of these films is not only because of the work put in by the cast and crew of a movie but also because of the varied interests of the movie goers who want to watch something new, exciting and different.Plus there’s an additional reason for the growing success of such small budgeted films and that is the small budget itself.Since these films’ budgets are less, it becomes all the more easier for them to recover their costs and by selling the home video, satellite, overseas and music rights these films earn profits even before the film is released.

A major participant in such kind of films, Abhay Deol, who has starred in many of the above mentioned flicks has successfully carved out a niche for himself and is infact so charged up by seeing the audience reactions that he has started his own production house under the name of ‘Forbidden Films’.

Thus while on one hand the Johars and the Chopras still hold fort with their films heavily relying on promotional gimmicks and stars, the small budget films are providing them with stiff competition where the script alone is the king.

-Suhail Mathur

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