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Exclusive! Viraf Patell on Chhello Show: International recognition helps a regional film industry grow

The actor was last seen in the Gujarati film Kutch Express, and will be seen next in Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan

Exclusive! Viraf Patell on Chhello Show: International recognition helps a regional film industry grow
Viraf Patell

Last Updated: 07.59 PM, Jan 21, 2023


With the Gujarati film Chhello Show being selected as India's entry to the 95th Academy Awards and got shortlisted under the Best International Feature Film Catagory, there is a hope that along with Telugu and Tamil films, the global audience will also explore more stories through Gujarati cinema. Set in a village in Gujarat, Chhello Show is directed by Pan Nalin.

In recent times, be it the Marathi film Ved or the Gujarati film Kutch Express - such films are slowly, but surely finding space at the box office and in the hearts of audiences. The question then arises is with a Gujarati language film getting shortlisted for an Oscar, how do other regional language films, apart from the south, are finding favour among global audiences?

Sharing his thoughts on the matter, Viraf told OTTplay, "I think international recognition helps the regional film industry grow and expand the audience. You see, today, if everyone is talking about RRR, people who did not watch the film earlier will take an interest to watch it. It is the same with Kantara - a film that has grown through word of mouth. Sitting in India, we are watching Korean and Japanese films, because they have found recognition on global platform. The way audiences are appreciating good content has also come from the huge exposure to international cinema that we have access to."

While it is true that people enjoy watching good content regardless of the region it comes from, it is also equally important to have access to the content. Not all Gujarati films get the exposure that Chhello Show did, or even Kutch Express, which released across Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Asked about what his views are on the importance of a proper release for any content-driven film, and Viraf said, "Well, I am an actor and I really do not have in-depth knowledge on that. So, it is better if I do not comment on that. Having said that, yes, it is true that the distribution and marketing of a film is a beast - an ever-evolving beast that plays a huge part in giving a good film the chance to reach the right kind of audience. Releasing a film in theatres is surely an expensive affair and one needs resources for it. But at the same time, I also believe that if the story is authentic, it travels better."

"Today, if people are showing interest in watching Kantara, RRR or Kutch Express, it is because you, as the audience, get to see a different culture and story of some real people. In Kantara, we watched the story of a section of people that otherwise wasn't explored. In Kutch Express, we captured the beautiful Kutch and their people. So, an authentic story touches more hearts," he further added.

The actor earlier revealed to OTTplay that he has played a small, yet crucial part in the much-awaited Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan that releases on January 25.

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