Presenting Indian film content to global audiences and getting them funding and sales, Mumbai based entrepreneur has a 'Bollywood' dream like no other! Swati Maheshwari caught up with Yogesh Karikurve, founder of Magus Entertainment, to find out more about this one-of-its-kind-venture in India, exclusively for YourStory.inAbout Magus Entertainment
Magus Entertainment is a platform for Indian documentary and independent filmmakers to co-produce and sell their films internationally. We started with content sales and are currently exploring co-production with European and Latin American countries. As we work closely with several consulates of foreign countries in India, we also facilitate exchange of content by conducting film festivals for them.
I was heading the international distribution of independent films before I started Magus Entertainment in January last year. I am an MBA (Marketing) from J. Bajaj and MBA (International Business) from University of Iowa, USA and have worked in several organizations like L’Oreal, O&M, Britannia and Zoom TV before being bitten by the movie bug. Magus means ‘magic’ in Greek and we intend to create exactly that by getting the global audience to watch more content made by Indian filmmakers. Magus Entertainment goes beyond Bollywood.
Moment of Obligation
During my corporate stint, I saw that India has a huge pool of talented filmmakers who do brilliant work,
however lack in business skills. It is difficult for them to focus on the business aspect as well and make good films. If the film didn’t make good money, it means that it was not seen by good number of audiences - thereby defying the whole purpose it was made for in the first place. We would like to change that and foster a professional approach to film-making and distribution as prevalent in most western countries.Content Promotion Industry in India
Other than the production houses and TV channels who market the content they own, the promotion industry for independent content in India is largely an unorganized sector dominated by family owned small and medium sized enterprises and they usually deal with other distributors (in NRI dominated countries) that cater to Indian audience. There is a strong need of professionals who can deal with international distributors and follow their business methods.
As such we don’t have a comprehensive competition, as we deal in both documentaries and feature films. Besides, we operate at both ends of the value chain of films - funding and sales.
On the Indian Film Industry
Even though India makes about 1000 films a year, we constitute barely 1% of the global film revenues. There is a huge gap compared to other major film producing countries of the world and one of the major factors is that Indian films are targeted largely for the 1. 2 billion Indians and another 25 million PIOs across the world. To bridge this gap, we need to produce content targeted to a larger global audience and distribute it accordingly to reach them.
Demand for Indian Content in International Markets
Indian films, unless they have a good festival run, don’t get theatrical release or even satellite in some countries. However, Bollywood films with ‘A’ level star cast get a good release in NRI dominated countries. Our TV serials like Balika Vadhu is a household name in Macedonia, ‘Gabhricha Paus’ (Damned Rain) got a theatrical release in France, Germans and Turkish are seen singing and dancing to Bollywood music, and Globo TV from Brazil has a serial – ‘Caminhas das Indias’ (stories of India) which is an Indian story shot in Rajasthan but acted by Brazilian artistes in Portuguese! Some documentaries are doing well, although animation is still suffering due to lack of quality content.
The traditional markets have been NRI dominated countries like US, UK, South East Asia, UAE and Asia Pacific. However, there has been an increasing demand for Indian content from countries like Germany, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Brazil, CIS countries like Kazakhstan and Balkan region like Croatia and Macedonia. .
There has been no official ‘investment capital’ in Magus Entertainment other than savings from my working days. Besides, most of the investment has been in travelling and building good relations with people across the world. In the last one year, I have travelled to film festivals in Cannes, Abu Dhabi, Locarno, Rotterdam, Stuttgart and documentary festivals in Toronto, Amsterdam, MIP and Geneva.
We are working on innovative ways of getting funding for the filmmakers domestically and internationally. We are also exploring newer international markets and media for distribution of content. Our mission is to be a one-stop shop for the Gen X filmmakers.
Visit the company website to know more about this venture.
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