Amritraj sees foreign films' potential
By Patrick Frater
Tue, 07 June 2011, 23:13 PM (HKT)
Instead of fighting for space on crowded European and North American cinema screens, non-English-language films should develop their markets online and in new media, said Hyde Park Entertainment chairman Ashok AMRITRAJ.
"Foreign language films have not fulfilled their potential yet. In North America and other parts of Europe, the other big marketplace, they haven't taken the leap," he said.
But Amritraj said this failure was not a reflection of lack of demand. "There is such an incredible appetite for Asian and European films all over the world, but on platforms where you don't have to go to the theatre, and among distributors who don't have to sell into the theatres."
Amritraj explains that, in most countries, cinema screen were dominated by Hollywood blockbusters or local films, leaving little space in between for other movies. "If you want a Korean or Indian movie to be distributed in, say, Germany, they are so far behind the other categories. It is a question of whether some distributor wants to build a marketplace for you," he said.
"Five years ago people were talking about classic Bollywood films crossing over. And for a while Chinese films had a real market in the US through Miramax. You don't see that with any significance any more."
"To have a good theatrical run you have to cut through so much traffic, to compete with all the stuff on your computer and at home."