Marathi Bhasha Din: Ashok Saraf, Amruta Khanvilkar, Shreyas Talpade & Others Open Up On Pan-India Reach Of Marathi Films

Marathi Bhasha Din: Ashok Saraf, Amruta Khanvilkar, Shreyas Talpade & Others Open Up On Pan-India Reach Of Marathi Films

On the occasion of Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din, celebrities open up about what should be done to popularise Marathi cinema outside Maharashtra

Sagarika Choudhary Ria SharmaUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 09:09 AM IST
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On the occasion of Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din, celebrities open up about what should be done to popularise Marathi cinema outside Maharashtra, across the country:

Ashok Saraf

Before trying to popularise Marathi cinema outside Maharashtra, the members of the Marathi film industry must try to make better films and come up with original stories in our state itself. Once people in our own state watch and appreciate our films, people across the country will automatically turn their heads towards us too. The language barrier exists and we cannot deny that. Even if we add subtitles to our Marathi movies, it is difficult for the audience to read it fast and experience the performances being emoted on the screen at the same time. So the primary focus of the Marathi film fraternity for now should be to churn out the best content possible and make the people of the state watch and love our films.

Amruta Khanvilkar

I think the makers should strategise the promotions according to the content of the film. More films with subtitles or dubbed versions should be released for people outside Maharashtra to understand it easily. Every film needs to have a different marketing approach and OTT platforms should also come forward to buy Marathi films. Filmmakers find it very hard to sell Marathi films on OTT, so that shouldn’t be the case. Every other language film is respected and bought by digital platforms and same should be with Marathi movies. For example, I have watched so much South content on OTT platforms only because they are available but only a handful of Marathi projects are present on OTT.

Renuka Shahane

Explaining what Marathi means to me is like explaining what my mother means to me. It is the core of my very existence. I don't just speak Marathi, I think in Marathi, I express in Marathi. Be it whatever setup, if I'm in pain, my first instinct is to express it in Marathi. If I'm in love, the best way for me to profess it is, again, in Marathi. I feel the youth today should indulge in studying Marathi literature because there's so much to learn from it. And it is any day better to learn straight from the source rather than the translated versions. Our Marathi literature is so rich culturally and it is a vast sea of knowledge, which is yearning to be explored with an open mind and heart. As far as Marathi movies are concerned, almost each one of them comes with subtitles today, so if it's not reaching out to the non-Marathi speaking audience across the country, then I don't really know where we, as an industry, are going wrong. I feel it is something for the producers and distributors to think about.

Shreyas Talpade

I think we need to have subjects which are more massy and will connect with the pan-India audience. If the emotions are relatable then people don't have a problem with the language in which the story is communicated. It is the emotion which is the most important. I also feel that filmmakers need to dub their Marathi films in other languages and release it at least in the few major centres. We have seen examples of films from down South which have been dubbed in just one language apart from the original language, and it has worked big time in their favour. As word of mouth spread, they kept producing more prints of the films and they emerged to be mega hits. So I think we need to show confidence and release the film in various languages, because you never know which audience will connect to the story in which language.

Sonalee Kulkarni

We need to first make our cinema popular in our own state. Unless and until we do that we won't be able to take our cinema outside Maharashtra. The popularity of Marathi cinema in Maharashtra is in danger. We are competing with Hindi cinema and other regional film industries. We don't have the kind of loyalty which South Indian film industries have. We need to cater to the root cause first which is why people don't watch Marathi films in Maharashtra. Only one or two films in a year do huge business and what about other films? Yes, that also boils down to what kind of films are being made. It's actually a two-way thing. We need to make good films for them to work but at the same time, it is not just limited to cinema. The loyalty of Maharashtrian audiences towards Marathi art forms, culture and literature is a big question. People need to feel proud of their language and traditions and we need to first have credibility in our own state before going outside.

Addinath Kothare

Popularising Marathi cinema outside Maharashtra requires a multi-faceted approach. Marathi films should be showcased in prominent national and international film festivals to garner attention from a wider audience. We should also ensure that Marathi films have subtitles in English and other regional languages to make them accessible to non-Marathi speakers. Also, makers should invest in targeted marketing and promotion campaigns to create awareness about Marathi films. We can also collaborate with popular streaming platforms to make Marathi films available to a global audience. I feel that support and incentives should be provided to Marathi filmmakers, actors, and technicians to create high-quality content that appeals to a diverse audience. By implementing these strategies, Marathi cinema can gain visibility and popularity beyond Maharashtra.

Anuja Sathe

I always feel that because I started my career in the Marathi films and as Marathi is my mother tongue, I have a huge respect for the industry. Marathi cinema has drastically evolved in the last few years and we've seen some really good content coming out from there. The biggest issue we've seen is that Marathi films don't get enough screens or theatres and because of that, good movies don't reach the audience. That has to change and once it is done, I think more people will be drawn towards Marathi cinema and more content will be consumed. Also, if we have OTT platforms taking Marathi content, it will be great and the viewership will be more. If these two things are taken care of, Marathi cinema will definitely reach outside Maharashtra.

Priyadarshini

Publicity is very important, I feel. A film like Sairat reached across the country. It wasn't a remake of anything. That happened because of the publicity it got. Firstly, the Maharashtrian audience appreciated it and loved it and when it created a buzz in Maharashtra, people from other states also watched it and liked it. People should support Marathi films. Media is also responsible for playing an important role in publicising Marathi projects. They also have the power to take Marathi cinema to greater heights

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