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Globally saleable Tamil heroes and expanding worldwide market of Tamil films!!
This is one of the best and most beneficial seasons for Tamil films. You could say that considering the impact that our films are making on the international scene. At the ongoing Cannes International Film Festival, a pioneering effort has been started by one of our own Chennai-based film entrepreneurs. AP International has set up an impressive lounge at the festival showcasing fine vignettes from South Indian cinema. Arjundas Wadhwa, one of the partners of AP, quite excited about the venture, claims that Tamil films have a huge potential globally. He rattles off facts to prove his point.
Tamil films throughout the year

Our industry has remained confined to the state and some Tamil-speaking pockets abroad like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and the Gulf countries. As the economy opened up and more and more Tamilians moved abroad, they took along their passion for Tamil films. No wonder today there is a demand for latest films in areas as far away as Japan, Denmark and Ireland.
Cashing in on this spurt, big players like AP have acquired or tied up with exhibitors in these areas. Their idea is to cater to the growing demand by screening Tamil films throughout the year. It would also help in streamlining availability of films if there is a consistent schedule of screening.
Evergreen appeal of Superstar Rajinikanth

The most popular film of the past year was no doubt, ‘Chandramukhi’, which raked in about 2.5 million dollars and was much in demand in hitherto unknown areas like South Africa, Turkey, Switzerland and Germany. This once again proves the evergreen appeal of Superstar Rajinikanth. According to Wadhwa, the biggest star in India is none other than Rajinikanth, the lead actor of Chandramukhi. “He charges Rs.20 crore a film and yet his box office power is such that producers have no issues with what he charges,” he says.

Rajinikanth has a remarkable screen presence and the reasons for his popularity are not difficult to understand
Besides, his films always carry a humanistic and universal touch and a large dose of sentiment without melodrama.
For audiences living miles away from friends and relatives, nothing would be more welcome than a popular commercial movie which speaks their lingo to connect to their roots. Oh, how could we forget, the music! All the songs in Rajini’s movies are invariably foot-tapping numbers which lighten the pain of separation. Since the days of ‘Muthu’ a decade ago, Rajini’s films have been steadily showing a rise even in unconventional markets like Japan and Hong Kong.
Anniyan’s amazing business

Wadhwa also says that the past year’s other big grosser, ‘Anniyan’ did business worth 2 million dollars. The overseas rights include theatres, home videos, television and audio. Hence, it is a recurring return. He also said that films got much wider coverage now than before and could be marketed easily. Thanks to Internet. Therefore, people abroad wanted to watch a film as soon as it was released. Hence, there was scope for exploring the pastures across the seas.
Vikram & Sada
AP International to distribute ‘Sivaji’

The growing popularity abroad of the crossover films has made Sivaji Productions enter this genre with a film titled Delhi Heights. This film has received good response thanks to the presence of some heavyweight names.

The next film on AP International’s overseas offering is, predictably, another Rajnikanth starrer – ‘Sivaji’.
Being peddled as the most expensive film ever made in India, it is scheduled for release in 2007. The film is being made under the AVM banner, one of the oldest and most respected film companies in Tamil Nadu.
The global heroes

All in all it is great to learn that at last, Tamil films are not only entertaining but also make good business sense. Right now only the big names like Rajinikanth, Manirathnam, Kamal Hassan, Vikram and Vijay help increase the rate of returns for the producers. If the quality of our films becomes better, it would be possible to find niche audiences for them as well. Anyone listening?
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