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Juni director Vaibhav Mahadev - Word of mouth publicity is not enough for an independent film

Juni, a Kannada romantic drama featuring a heroine with dissociative identity disorder, is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Juni director Vaibhav Mahadev - Word of mouth publicity is not enough for an independent film
Vaibhav Mahadev; a poster of Juni

Last Updated: 12.51 PM, Apr 13, 2024


The Kannada film Juni, directed by debutant Vaibhav Mahadev, had some buzz going for it prior to its theatrical release. The film, led by Dia fame Pruthvi Ambaar and Rishika Naik, was a romantic drama with a twist, with the heroine playing a character with dissociative identity disorder. This is something that Vaibhav had revealed early on and closer to the release, he’d also said that the character was based on a real-life person.

The film, unfortunately, released on a day on which there were at least 7-8 other new Kannada movies, along with a few titles from other languages, while Kaatera and Upadhyaksha were still running successfully. As a result, Juni got very few screens and the allotted show timings were also not the most ideal. Speaking to Kannada Filmy Club about this struggle, Vaibhav said that amid such conditions, chances of word-of-mouth publicity to help footfalls pick are less.


“Even if 10-20 people had come to the theatre and watched it and told another 20, by the time they’d find it convenient to try and catch a show, none would be available at that slot,” explains Vaibhav, adding that promoting a film is no cakewalk either. He and his team, especially leading man Pruthvi, did whatever best they could, both online and offline, but even that seems inadequate now, adds the filmmaker.

His learning from this experience is that the right campaigns had to be done at the right time. He cites an example of a pre-release interview that he’d done along with the producer of the film for with a YouTube influencer. While the channel had a fairly good number of subscribers, the video attracted no views. “We realized that putting out content is not enough; you need to give it a push as well and give it enough time to reach the intended audience. We didn’t have that kind of time or money,” says Vaibhav.

To target the population that is not on social media, posters play a major role. But to put them up all across the state, ensure that over the next couple of days other film posters are not stuck over them or that they are removed by local bodies, is an effort that requires a large team, which, they could not afford, adds Vaibhav, explaining how his team failed to reach audiences.

The film follows Partha (Pruthvi), a chef at an upscale café, who falls in love with Juni (Rishika Naik) a graphic artiste, only to find out that she isn’t Juni at all times. The film is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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