Indian Cinema On Rise In Ukraine
In 2022, the Indian National Cultural Center (SITA) hosted the second SITA Bollywood Film Festival. More than 600 people attended the festival, which was held in Moscow's largest cinema.
“It's the opening Bollywood show that's the best part of this event," SITA President Sammy Kotwani told India Today in Moscow. Our Bollywood song is being performed by a Russian cast of dancers. It's good to see the days of Indian cinema being a big deal in the U.S. are coming back.
There is a void in the movie theaters because of a lack of interest in Indian films among the Indian population. Hollywood has taken a rare step in response to Russian aggression towards Ukraine by stopping the release of major studio films in Russian theaters. Netflix, Discovery, WarnerMedia, and Amazon have all shut down their services in Russia as a result of the sanctions.
The event was planned by the Indian government at just such a point in time. An Indian movie, starring Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan, Boman Irani, and Rakul Preet Singh, was shown to the audience after a Bollywood dance exhibition by Russian dance groups.
Cinemas are losing money since they aren't allowed to show or distribute Hollywood films. However, even if the Russian market is not one of Hollywood's top five, it is an important one nonetheless. It hasn't stopped people from accessing films illegally despite the boycott.
According to a twenty-something Russian, "We have our ways of accessing films (Hollywood). It's not like this is our first time dealing with penalties. We've gotten used to it. There are also proxy servers for various web services (VPN).” As a hotel receptionist, Jakhan was able to access his social media accounts and watch anything he desired. The Hollywood industry stands to lose money as well as the Russian theater sector as a result of the boycott.
Russia's film industry may suffer as a result of this, as many brilliant filmmakers will not be able to display their work at major film festivals like the Academy Awards, Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival and other European film festivals.
There are several screenings of Indian films in Russia, with a focus on Moscow. Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, and the like were household names at one point in time. It was a common greeting in Russia and the Donbas region for the elderly to sing "Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, aaja aaja" . Mithun Chakraborty was even shouted out by several who recognized the actor from the song.
If they are allowed to play their films, there is debate about inviting them to create films in Russia as well. Banned films made in Russia could see a decline in box office gross receipts around the world. It is therefore imperative that the Indian film business balances on the edge of the "line of sanction" in order to avoid being penalized.