Milind Dhaimade’s Tu Hai Mera Sunday is doing well at the box-office because of word-of-mouth publicity. But the director is unhappy with the fact that despite the film picking up over the weekend, exhibitors are not increasing the number of screens nor are they allotting proper show timings to the film.
In a Facebook post, Milind said, “Relay this message to everyone you know. Tu Hai Mera Sunday is gaining momentum but we need to accelerate it. Tomorrow is Sunday and we need your help to fill up the theaters. The reviews of the film and the theaters where they’re playing are attached. Pick any theatre and spread the word to friends around that area. WhatsApp them. Tweet. Anything. If the theaters fill up, it becomes easier for us to get better timings in the coming week.”
When Sakal Times got in touch with Milind, he said, “It’s totally weird. I don’t know how to change it. Despite the film receiving such positive response, the exhibitor’s are not giving us more screens and they are also removing the film from theatres.” Tu Hai Mera Sunday, starring Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Vishal Malhotra, Rasika Dugal, Manvi Gagroo and others, released in 60 screens across the country.
He added, “We have done everything right with the film. Usually people think independent films are intellectual and inaccessible. But those who have watched our film have loved it. We have promoted it well and got great actors. But after all this, they are not showing our film.” He said that even the screen timings are so odd. “It’s 9 am and 1 pm. The working crowd won’t be able to watch it. Nobody will know that the film is being screened. This film could have been like Sairat, a small-budgeted film which turns out to be a hit. Even if they give us 150 screens and two evening slots, it will help us,” he said.
Milind said that theatres could have benefited from the film, if they give it a chance. “They just needed to wait on word-of-mouth publicity because the film is picking up,” added Milind.
Even with small-budgeted films like Newton working wonders at the box-office, exhibitors don’t seem to have learnt their lesson. “Usually exhibitors support big stars and studios. As far as Newton is concerned, it was distributed by Eros and the fact that it was India’s official entry for the Oscars helped it. Newton was also an entertaining film and the audience enjoys entertaining films,” he said.
Ask him if makers are left with no option but to get big studios to back their films, he said, “I think so. Going by the way things are working, directors have to try the film festival route where they can atleast release the film in foreign markets or get studios involved.
What will happen to our stories if the audience does not get to see them?” Milind says that he would be left with no option but to put the film online.