Filmart: Film Adaptations Help Integrate Cultures

By George, Sandy | Screen International, April 2, 2013 | Go to article overview

Filmart: Film Adaptations Help Integrate Cultures


George, Sandy, Screen International


Indian investment banker-turned-novelist Chetan Bhagat said the Indian film industry is only recently becoming more active in adapting books for screen, but that shoudl grow as India's independent film production sector grows.He noted that in India, commerical films are driven by the audience's desire for escapism, formulaic stories and stars, but he hopes a space will always be available for arthouse films."A $25 million box office is considered a hit in India but you can get $

Indian investment banker-turned-novelist Chetan Bhagat said the Indian film industry is only recently becoming more active in adapting books for screen, but that shoudl grow as India's independent film production sector grows.

He noted that in India, commerical films are driven by the audience's desire for escapism, formulaic stories and stars, but he hopes a space will always be available for arthouse films.

"A $25 million box office is considered a hit in India but you can get $2-$3 million to make an artistic film that makes $6-$7 million and that's still a success. Some Indians want movies that give them insights into themselves and are tired of formula movies."

Bhagat has experience with his novels being adapted into a huge box-office hit with top stars (3 Idiots), and also a more modest-sized success with lesser-known stars (Brothers For Life).

There was much discussion about the challenges and potential of integrating cultures via film adaptations.

Hong Kong-based literary agent Marysia Juszczakiewicz of Peony, who represents many of China's top tier writers including Yan Geling (The Flowers Of War), said the rise in interest from the US studios and others in Chinese stories has been very noticeable in the past two or three years. …

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