Richa Chadha, Neil Nitin Mukesh's Ishqeria to release in India and China simultaneously
Producer of Richa Chadha-starrer Ishqeria says movie was screened for exhibitors in China as it gears for simultaneous release across both nations
mid-day had previously reported that Richa Chadha and Neil Nitin Mukesh's romance drama Ishqeria was gearing up for a release, four years after the filming had concluded. Now, we hear, the film will simultaneously hit screens in India and China, making it the first Indian movie to do so.
Producer Yusuf Shaikh tells mid-day that the film has received the green light from the Censor Committee in China. A chain of distributors, we're told, watched the film yesterday to zero in on who will pick it up. "Chinese distributors are confident that good Indian content works for their audiences too. Thus, they will try to minimise delays in releases to avoid piracy. Hopefully, we will be able to release the movie in India and China on September 21. After the Censor Board gives its certificate — a procedure that takes 24 hours — the film is screened for distributors so that a call on its exhibition can be taken," he says.
Pointing out that China has 70,000 screens, Shaikh says it makes for a big market for Bollywood filmmakers. Having been approached by Mauritius-based Liv Worldwide — a company that bridges the gap between filmmakers and distributors — Shaikh says CEO Nadeem Shah had assured him that the film will release on the stipulated day with Chinese sub-titles.
Trade analyst Atul Mohan tells mid-day that the development gives credence to the fact that "a new market is opening up abroad for Indian producers." "China has the second highest number of screens in the world after USA. In India, we wait to gauge the box-office performance of a film before pushing it for a release there," he says.
Ishqeria revolves around a small-town girl, played by Chadha, who heads to a city-based college and falls for the institute's sports star. Her friends then go to great lengths to play matchmakers for the duo.
The film, helmed by debutant director Prerna Wadhawan, also stars Bani J and Raj Babbar. After the shooting had wrapped up four years ago, it faced several hurdles, including the death of Wadhawan's producer-father Ravi Wadhawan. Prerna had then told mid-day, "We have finally overcome all the odds. We managed to get the ball rolling."
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