Punjabi film sets the stage for more international films in Prince Edward Island
The recent success of a Punjabi film screening at the Charlottetown Cineplex may help attract more international films to PEI.
Putt Chal Mera 2 was re-released around the world last month after COVID-19 hampered its initial release date in 2020. Cineplex said it has released the film in about 40 theaters, including the Prince Island capital. Edward.
“The film was very successful for us in Charlottetown, and we’re very happy with the result and it’s very encouraging,” said Cineplex Film Programming General Manager Robert Cousins.
“We sort of work with distributors, we find pockets that we may have been under-represented, and then we bring those films into those pockets.”
The film is filled with song, dance and romance, Cousins said, and displayed with English subtitles for those who don’t understand the language.
He said the small size of some local theaters made it difficult for international films to arrive, but the company is still looking to serve different communities across the country. In this case, he said the presence of the island’s Punjabi community was integral.
“If that community weren’t there and we relied on everyone to come and see the movie, maybe it wouldn’t have been successful,” he said.
“They cater to a grassroots crowd, and then you hope everyone joins in.”
‘It feels good’
Cinema staff said when the film first arrived, the evening screenings were sold out for about six consecutive days.
The crowd has calmed down, but some people still say they drove for hours to get the chance to see it.
“We came from Moncton,” said Arshdeep Singh, who was there with friends.
“Canada is a multicultural country … so if they get films and other things like festivals and stuff, it will be good for people.”
Inderveer Sohal just moved to Prince Edward Island with his family last week. He said his mother did not speak English, so finding out there was a Punjabi movie in the theaters was a pleasant surprise for everyone.
“It feels good. It’s their first time watching a movie in Charlottetown,” he said.
“It was unexpected to find a Punjabi movie here, I didn’t expect it.
Sohal said he believed it was also a good opportunity to bring island and Punjabi communities together.
“They get to know other cultures … we also watch movies in English and it would be really great if, for example, people from different communities come and [watched] a Punjabi film. “
“Success breeds success”
Cousins guess Putt Chal Mera 2 will be in theaters for about two more weeks.
That being said, he said he believed it had “absolutely” paved the way for future films around the world.
“Success breeds success,” he said.
“When you see something like Putt Chal Mera 2 in Charlottetown and how it gets reactions and… how it pays and how the community gets involved, it encourages us more and more to bring more films to this community. “
And while it was usually Chinese and Punjabi films that made it to theaters on the island, Cousins said if the interest was there, the opportunity to explore more diverse options could follow.
“We are always looking for opportunities to release films,” he said.
“We just need to know that there is enough community out there to serve the film when we release it.”