Is it fair to cheat viewers by passing off dubbed versions of super flops in regional films in Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam as mega ventures in Hindi, like Urumi was dubbed into Ek Yoddha Shoorveer? A few producers and distributors discuss.

By Jyothi Venkatesh

T.P. Aggarwal- F.F.I and IMPPA President, Producer and Publisher
If today there is this trend of buying the dubbing rights of regional films in Malayalam or Telugu and releasing them after dubbing them in Hindi just to cash in on the names of the Bollywood stars who are acting in these regional films, I would say that it is entirely the fault of the distributors who pay the producers peanuts for the dubbing rights with the hope of encashing on these films. Why should you blame the poor producers who want to recover the enormous cost of the investment in the regional films?
Sanjeev Kumar Bijli (PVR) 
As an exhibitor, it is not my job to question a producer when he sets out to release his film which is dubbed from a regional language to Hindi, as I feel that it is the prerogative of the producer, whether they release Bahubali dubbed from Telugu to Hindi or Ek Yoddha Shoorveer dubbed from Urumi in Malayalam to Hindi. I wouldn’t say that it is unfair on the part of the producers to release a film dubbed from a regional. It is not in our control. If a producer decides that a movie has to be dubbed in Hindi, because it has big names like Vidya Balan, Tabu etc, I think he has every right to try his luck because you never know which film will click and which will not.
Ravi Gupta (Producer)
Consumers are fairly smart and can’t be fooled as indicated. There is no harm in having a choice to watch dubbed film flops or otherwise. If you ask me, dubbing, sub-titling, para dubbing and remakes are ways to reach out to larger markets. The choice depends on the cost-effectiveness and the market acceptance of the format. In India we accept dubbed versions as our audiences do not like subtitled versions. Audiences in Europe prefer subtitling over dubbing. Para dubbing was once fairly common in the Russian market.
Prakash Nathan, Presenter, Cinemarkets
Obviously not! However there is specific audience that loves this kind of cinema. Action flicks from the south are liked by a set of audience and that ultimately results in these films being dubbed into Hindi. Satellite channels have created a demand for these kinds of films and its but obvious that this comes from the demand that they see from the consumer end. Remember there is a cost in procuring these films and dubbing them. If the consumer felt cheated, they wouldn’t consume this content.
Sandeep A. Varma, Producer-Director
I think whether flops or hits, from South or from Hollywood or for that matter, Korean/ Chinese films, this trend indicates the lack of conviction Hindi film producers have in themselves to judge good original scripts. As an industry, we must remember that worldwide whichever movie industry has lost the art to back original content has eventually died out. Also, passing off dubbed versions is simply a money making short-term exercise which will not pay off dividends in the long term. As far as cheating viewers is concerned, there are many other ways in which the movie producers are cheating viewers and if IMPAA
and other influential bodies do not step in, slowly the viewers will lose confidence in the industry and everyone will suffer. There has to be ethics towards viewers since in every business, the customer is the most important person.
Sangeeta Ahir, Producer, Distributor
It would take me by a surprise if this really happens. There are so many regional films that people want to see and having it dubbed for them is a fantastic way for them to watch and enjoy these films. In fact we have recently dubbed our Marathi film Daagdi Chaawl in Hindi so that more and more people can connect to the film and enjoy it. I still remember having read on the internet about people watching Daagdi Chaawl not only in Maharashtra but also in the other territories in India and foreign countries where they loved the film but wanted the film to be dubbed suitable to their understanding.
It makes sense to dub a successful film as we all filmmakers want our films to have the maximum exposure. It is unfair to the audience if they are subjected to gross miscommunication blatantly, but does this REALLY HAPPEN?
Shhyam Singhania, Producer, Financier
No. It is not at all fair to cheat viewers of their hard earned money by trying to pass off the dubbed versions of super duper flops in regional films like say Tamil or Telugu or Malayalam as mega ventures in Hindi, like recently the Malayalam venture Urumi was dubbed into Hindi and released with the brand new title Ek Yoddha Shoorveer. You have got to be very transparent and ethically correct in showing a film as a dubbed version. This is also a big market which can be monetized correctly.


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