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Last Updated : Jul 09, 2019 06:59 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

PVR's niche film club Screening Room debuts in Delhi, aims to bring audience closer to filmmakers

PVR began its Screening Room journey in Delhi with director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

Multiplex chain operator PVR's recently-launched initiative, Screening Room, made its debut in Delhi on July 8 at PVR HOME in Vasant Kunj.

Started in February this year, the Screening Room is a platform for movie-goers to watch niche films and internationally-acclaimed content. Discussions are held after the screening, called Masterclasses, by India’s celebrated auteurs.

PVR began its Screening Room journey in Delhi with director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Rang De Basanti, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker.

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Talking to Moneycontrol, Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, Joint Managing Director, PVR, shared the idea behind starting such a platform. He said, “The Indian audience is getting evolved because we are exposed to OTT (over the top) platforms and that is why we are also trying to get alternate content to cinemas. We are trying to create events that are film-centric and kind of gives an opportunity to directors and film buffs to come together under one roof.”

He added that the idea came from attending film festivals where directors like Quentin Tarantino hold discussions with the audience after the screening.

So far, PVR has conducted four such sessions and it started with director Anurag Kashyap, who showed a Tamil film that inspired him to make Gangs of Wasseypur.

“The last four events in Bombay were a complete sellout and our Screening Room in the last six months has become a property that is being recognized in the industry,” said Bijli.

Along with Kashyap, directors like Sriram Raghavan and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra have participated in special screenings.

Raghavan showcased his 1992 unseen docufiction film Raman Raghav followed by a Masterclass with cinephiles.

However, PVR, as of now, has no plans to expand the Screening Room beyond Mumbai and Delhi.

“In Mumbai, we are doing it in one cinema in Bandra - PVR Le Rêve Cinemas. In Delhi, this is our first launch and we will take it to another venue, which is more accessible and pocket-friendly. We will get regional talent to Mumbai. But we haven’t thought of expanding outside Delhi and Mumbai yet,” he added.

Those interested in such events will have to track social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Even filmmakers use their handles to talk about the ticketed event.

When asked how PVR Screening Room is different from Vkaao, a theatre on-demand platform that has completed two years, Bijli said the two platforms are entirely different, like chalk and cheese. “Vkaao is a platform where we (PVR) have a library of thousands of films and you can go on that platform and create a screening.”

On the other hand, Screening Room is a platform where “filmmakers get close to the audience,” he explained.

PVR currently operates a cinema circuit comprising 785 screens at 167 properties in 67 cities (21 states and UTs).

The multiplex operator serves 100 million patrons annually.
First Published on Jul 9, 2019 06:54 pm
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