Punjabi cinema industry is evolving rapidly. Earlier, Punjabi filmmakers faced problems with financing and selling their films to distributors but that is not the case now. Our industry is much more professional and technically evolved.We have broadened our international market as well. I
n August, we will be hosting our first international awards, PIFAA – Punjabi International Film Academy Awards, in Toronto, Canada. The number of Punjabi movies being made has also gone up in the last two years, with 25 to 30 films being made per year. Luckily, we have a loyal overseas market, which appreciates our Punjabi films like any other Hindi film.
Honey Singh, Actor/Music Director
I am excited about the standards we are setting every year with the kind of films we make. With each film we are hoisting the box office returns. Even non-Punjabis are taking a keen interest in our cinema.
The credit goes to the younger lot of filmmakers, who are making films that have a wide appeal. I am soon starting my own production house called Yo Yo Story Tellers, which will produce Punjabi films and will also promote new and emerging Punjabi talent. Punjabi cinema stands for commercial cinema and we are growing and emerging as a strong industry.
Surveen Chawla, Actress
The Punjabi film industry has grown rapidly in the recent past and we have raised the bar. The main purpose is to reach a bigger audience, and Punjabi filmmakers today are experimenting with stories and concepts, which is being appreciated by the audience. Punjabi films enjoy success overseas but sadly in our own country, we have a very narrow scope except for the Northern belt, and we need to market our films smartly.Other regional cinema has a loyal audience. But if we make good films, our audience will appreciate it. Right now, our industry is going through a growth period and it’s only going to get better and better.
Mandy Takhar, Actress
The quality of Punjabi films has improved in the last couple of years and it is much easier for producers and distributors to recover their costs. The returns on Punjabi films have grown, not only in India but on the global level as well.
It is great that mainstream Hindi filmmakers and actors are taking an interest in our Punjabi Industry. Dharmesh Darshan who has directed many Hindi films, is going to direct a Punjabi film and Mahie Gill is also doing a Punjabi movie. And in the international market, Hindi films face a tough competition from Punjabi films. To widen our market in India, we need to release our films in other regions like Mumbai and other metro cities.
Jonita Doda, Actress
Once upon a time, the Punjabi film industry was huge when we had stars like Preeti Sapru and Veerendra Singh. But then the film industry received a massive setback which lasted for about ten years. Now we are regaining lost glory. Our films were aimed mainly at NRIs but this is changing. Budgets are bigger, production values have improved and our films are technically much more sound.
The market value of our films has increased overseas and domestically as well. It is good that big corporate houses are investing in Punjabi films as it is always a good thing to have a brand name associated with your project. People connect better with big banners and they trust their choice.
Surendra Saluja, Lakshya Movies
Twenty years ago, the Punjabi film industry was blooming. Then came a lull phase and quality suffered. But today, 90 per cent of Punjabi films do good business. People like Babbu Maan, Harbajhan Mann and Jimmy Shergill are making good Punjabi cinema. Punjabi films are doing good business in Punjab and overseas. There have been instances where a Punjabi film has earned as much as Rs 10 crore overseas. We cannot compare Punjabi cinema to South Indian films but I am sure it is commercially better compared to Bengali and Marathi cinema. Today, even big production houses like Eros and Reliance are showing interest in Punjabi films, which is a good sign.
GD Mehta, Bobby Arts International
Punjabi films only appeal to the audience in Punjab, and they usually release in cinema halls which have UFO and these aren’t many. But one thing is sure – a Punjabi film does better business than a film in any other language when it releases in Punjab. Since there is no entertainment tax in Punjab, big production houses and corporates investing in these films receive subsidies. That is why they invest in Punjabi films.