Rasika Duggal on Lord Curzon Ki Haveli going for Red Lorry Film Festival: Word of mouth can change things for a film

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Actor Rasika Duggal is elated as her latest project, Lord Curzon Ki Haveli, garnered attention at the prestigious Red Lorry Film Festival in Mumbai. Sharing her excitement and initial reaction to the news, she expresses, “I am delighted that after screening at some well-regarded film festivals, audiences in India will be able to watch the film on a big screen,” adding, “The Red Lorry film festival has a very interesting line up, with films like Poor Things and Civil War, and I am thrilled that they chose Lord Curzon Ki Haveli too.”

Duggal, known for her candid views on the challenges faced by non-mainstream cinema in India, sheds light on the importance of film festivals in bridging the gap between such projects and the audience. “Audiences are versatile and open to new experiences, if they are made accessible to them,” the 39-year-old continues, “The films that get recognized at credible film festivals, in my opinion, are interestingly told stories and have the potential to be appreciated by widespread audiences.”

Addressing the struggle of such films to find adequate distribution and promotion, the actor articulates, “It becomes a cyclical conundrum – without proper distribution, these films fail to reach a wide audience, which then perpetuates the misconception that Indian viewers only want formulaic, mainstream entertainment.”

“But, many such films struggle to get a reasonably good theatrical release or effective promotional campaigns. And It becomes a cyclical conundrum – without proper distribution, these films fail to reach a wide audience which then perpetuates the misconception that Indian viewers only want formulaic, mainstream entertainment,” she further adds.

Highlighting the pivotal role of film festivals in amplifying the visibility of non-commercial projects, Duggal shares her insights from her recent experience with her film Fairy Folk, an indie improvised film which was also produced by her. “I believe, word of mouth can change things for a film. And my recent experience with Fairy Folk confirmed that idea. I was so encouraged by the attention the film got just by word of mouth, given our publicity budgets were miniscule. I think, film festivals help in generating a positive buzz around the film which can possibly be the first steps towards securing distribution,” she tells us.

“Some festivals have well curated film markets too – an organised space where potential producers and distributors get to meet and make pitches. I think it’s a great space and many films have seen the light of day because of these interactions,” Duggal adds.

Commenting on the credibility boost garnered by films through their participation in International film festivals, Duggal emphasises the discerning nature of festival audiences. “Selection processes at film festivals are thorough, and audiences at film festivals are very discerning,” she affirms. “If your film has passed muster with a respectable jury and subsequently with a film festival audience, then it definitely lends credibility to the work. Also, I love the involvement with which audiences at film festivals watch films. The love for cinema is palpable and I thrive on that energy.”

Source: The Hindustan Times