Lagaan a big hit in France-India Buzz-Entertainment-The Times of India
Lagaan a big hit in France
17 Aug 2002, 1004 hrs IST, IANS
 Print   Email   Discuss  Share  Save  Comment Text:
PARIS: The next time you stroll down principal avenues of this French capital, don't be too surprised if you run into Indian actor Aamir Khan.
For, the image of the hero-producer of Lagaan stares down from dozens of posters plastered around Paris even as the film continues an unprecedented successful run for a Hindi film in France. As the film enters its ninth week on French screens, it continues to pull crowds in two chic Parisian theatres where it is still being screened.
Located bang in the middle of Avenues des Champs Elysees, perhaps the most famous avenue in the world, stands Theatre Balzac. And juxtaposed with the famous St. Germain des Pres church in the heart of the art district of Paris is the St. Germain des Pres theatre.
Besides these two, the film is also running in 28 other theatres across France, including principal cities like Lyon in the south or Lille in the north, Bordeaux. Lagaan has a series of firsts for a "mainline" commercial Indian film. It became the first film to be distributed in France by an independent French distributor, while most titles distributed so far have been handled by a subsidiary of one of the large US distributors or studios.
When Lagaan had its premiere in Paris on June 26, it was yet another first. More than 500 people gathered for the opening night, an event attended by its director, Ashutosh Gowarikar, a host of Parisian celebrities and a live python snake among others.
Accompanied by a flurry of favourable reviews in the French press, the film hit a record seven screens in Paris. The film's opening was preceded by an aggressive publicity campaign, on which the distributor says he spent over $200,000, the biggest ever ad budget for a Hindi film in the French market.
And the combination of press reviews and ad campaign, besides the nomination of the film for Oscars, did the trick. "For the first several weeks, the film was running to packed capacity in most screens here," says a beaming Laurent Danielou, head of acquisitions at Rezo Films, the distributor who has bought the rights of the film for the French market as well as some French speaking markets in North Africa.
Rezo is one of the top five independent distributors in France. Danielou's statement is borne out by several Parisians who tried to get a ticket for Lagaan in the first few weeks. "I tried to go so many times to see the film in the July. But every time, I would run into the houseful signs at the cinema theatres," says Claire France, a 26-year-old student, who had to wait until last week to get a chance to see the film as holiday season was finally gripping Paris.
Viewers admit they were curious to see the film largely because of its nomination for the Oscars. "Normally, I would not like to see a Hindi film, they are so long and full of dances and other stuff. But when Lagaan was nominated for the Oscars, I wanted to see what it was all about," remarks a documentary filmmaker, adding that she was finally disappointed. "It was good visually, but the story was very weak."
Danielou says so far over 45,000 tickets for Lagaan have been sold, a record for a Hindi film in the French market. So well has the movie done in theatres that even Sony Music, the company that holds the rights to the film's music, is making its money.
Lagaan 's music tapes and CDs are believed to be selling tremendously in large music stores like Virgin and Fnac. Danielou says he will keep the film in Paris for at least another six weeks, since business will pick up again once Parisians come back from their annual vacation in another 10 days or so.
"We will keep it in Paris till the end of September for sure and in other theatres in France till the end of November or may be more," Danielou told IANS.
 Print   Email   Discuss  Share  Save  Comment Text:
More India Buzz

More >>

Bollywood Highlights
My Times, My Voice

More >>

Hotklix
You can call Rahul Gandhi! You can call Rahul Gandhi!
He might be 'just a call away'... very soon!
Big B blogs on 'Bachchanalia' Big B blogs on 'Bachchanalia'
Amitabh on the book and the intense fog in Delhi!
Top Search:  Sallu-Katrina midnight adventure! | 
More >>
Horoscope
ePaper: Print Edition
/photo.cms?msid=1919032

Get the replica of your favourite edition of Times of India Feel at home..
Mumbai Cares
A TOI initiative to help the families of the victims of Mumbai terror attack.
Shop
Portable blender Rs 549
NOVA 2 Slice Toaster Rs 699
More >>
Travel: Flights
Mumbai - Jaipur Rs 500
Delhi - Chennai Rs 1,350
Mumbai - Hyderabad Rs 200
More >>
Mobile 58888   
Daily predictions
Latest news on your mobile
More >>
ZigwheelsNew
Honda Jazz in India soon
Honda Siel is expected to see mid-2009 as time 'Fit' to launch its stylish Jazz
Honda Jazz in India soon
The Accord is a winner
Check out a 2006 Scorpio