Bollywood ‘Booms’ at Cannes

Indian firms tubthump with mixed sales results

Moving from the traditional market for Bollywood films, WEG India is in talks to sell “Jism” (literally “skin” in Hindi), to various Euro territories like France and Belgium.

WEG’s international sales and acquisitions topper Avinaash Jumani says pic has already been sold to Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Lebanon and Greece.

Another Bollywood company, Sunstone Ent., has presold “Boom” to Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia and is in talks with Germany, Hungary and France, per international rights holder Sanjay Jumani.

Marketing for the noirish pic about desire and dark deeds was launched by WEG at AFM and continued at Cannes with six screenings.

The marketing is part of WEG’s business plan to sell Bollywood product beyond the usual markets of Asia, U.K. and the U.S.

“We know what they want,” Jumani says. “They’re looking for something more modern, well made, with good scripts and something different from what they see in Hollywood.”

It hasn’t all been clear sailing, though. Prints for the company’s “Supari” failed to show and an earlier screening had to be canceled.

Still, the company sold “Divine Temple: Khajuraho” here last year, one of 25 movies it was marketing. This year WEG has about 40 pics, including “Pinjar,” an epic saga about the partition of India that created Pakistan, a hot topic in Bollywood. Pic is in post-production and Jumani hopes to have it ready in time for Venice.

“The appeal (of ‘Pinjar’) is to India and Pakistan, and partition is something everyone knows about,” Jumani says.

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