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Yoodlee Films plans to make 100 films in next five years - nairrk - 10-12-2018

MUMBAI: Yoodlee Films, the film production arm of music label Saregama, plans to make 100 films in the next five years. However, the number depends upon the quality scripts that company gets from writers.

Speaking to, Saregama VP films and TV Siddharth Anand Kumar said Yoodlee has so far released 12 films in 20 months since it launched. Of this five films have been monetised while three have been sold directly to platforms including Netflix. Only three films have been released in theatres.

“We want to make 100 films in next five years. But it might also take a little more than five years. This means 20 films in a year but we have made 12 films in 20 months. Currently, my number of films in a year stands at eight and not at 20. My team has gone through 850 scripts to select 12 scripts. The ratio of mediocre, bad to good scripts is very big. This is inevitable in any creative industry,” Kumar said.

He also said that the 12 films produced by the company have been completed within the assigned budget. The average budget for a film is Rs. 5 crore.

“The deals that we have managed to accrue have given us a very healthy balance of money going out and money coming in. The investors are happy and we seem to be on a strong footing as of now. It seems that the model that we set out for ourselves 20 months ago is the correct one. It seems to be working,” he added.

Apart from music, Saregama has identified video content as the big growth driver for the company. The company owns the IP for the content that buys or produces.

“So far we have owned music content. Now we are making a serious play for video content. With 5G going to come in video is the first point of consumption for a consumer. We want to ensure that we have as strong a foundation for video content that we have in music,” Anand stated.

Once the film is greenlighted, it takes atleast 8-12 months to complete the film. The company has five to six criterias before it greenlights a project.

These include the theme of the film, the logline, story uniqueness, authenticity and how deeply rooted the filmmaker is in the milieu of the film, the passion of the filmmaker, and the entertainment factor in the film.

Kumar feels that digital has emerged as lucrative medium for filmmakers compared to theatres. The low density of movie screens also make matters worse for filmmakers. The growing penetration of mobile screens coupled with cheap data plans have changed the market dynamics.

That said, Kumar stated that Yoodlee is not making TV shows that can only go to TV or to an OTT platform.

Apart from Hindi, Yoodlee has also identified regional as a key market. It has made two films in Tamil and one in Marathi. The next Marathi film will start shooting in December. It also has also initiated discussions for another Tamil film.

“As far as regional is concerned we are clear that our focus areas are in Tamil, Marathi and Malayalam. This could change. We have also made a film in English called ‘Nobleman’. Of course we also focus on Hindi cinema,” he said.

Yoodlee’s film slate for the year includes ‘Hamid’, ‘Habaddi’, ‘Noblemen’ in English, and ‘Music Teacher’.