Variety

Film industry also needs innovation, says Britto after Master release

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on February 11, 2021

Xavier Britto

From managing one of India’s largest logistics companies Kerry Indev to running St. Britto’s group of educational institutions to the Esthell Group of Hotels & Resorts, Xavier Britto has a hand in a diverse range of industries.

But, apart from all this, it is his media business that catapulted the 50-year-old businessman to national fame.. Britto’s film production company XB Film Creators bankrolled actor Vijay’s latest release ‘Master’, which saw the biggest theatrical release post-lockdown across the country.

“Due to pandemic and Vijay’s popularity, XB Film Creators’ brand name has gone across the globe. Now, film audiences across the world know me and it is something of a solace for all the sufferings that we went through the pandemic,” Britto, told BusinessLine.

It doesn’t matter whether you speak about cinema or any other business, Britto’s response will invariably have an element of logistics in it.

Terms such as lead time, supply chain, just in time and pipeline distribution seeps through the conversation even if he shares his plans for the film industry.

“Film industry is also nothing but logistics. It also depends on movement of people, vehicles, film set and supply of food. If you have your logistics correctly organised you can deliver your project as quickly as possible,” says Britto.

After waiting for nine months, Vijay’s Master had a theatrical release on January 13. However, within two weeks , the movie premiered on Amazon Prime Video platform on January 29 taking distributors and exhibitors by surprise.

Britto says that while the movie performed well at the box office, the main reason for the OTT launch is to satisfy the overseas audience since many countries are still under the lockdown mode.

“Having experienced a situation like holding a nice project (Master) for a long time, my suggestion to producers is that they should talk to theatre owners and distributors and reduce the time gap between theatre and OTT release at the quickest possible time,” said Britto.

Innovation is nothing new to Britto. As against the traditional and fragmented way of operation, Britto brought innovation into logistics by offering the entire suite of logistical services under one roof as a package. He conceived the concept of Air Freight Station (AFS) to decongest airports way back in 2009. Today, Kerry Indev is India’s first and only private AFS player in the country with operations in Chennai.

‘Needs innovation’

He believes the film industry also needs innovation. Film producers can also strike a right balance with exhibitors, OTT platforms, digital and satellite TVs to create a package where a content can seamlessly flow from one medium to another, bringing revenue and benefitting all the stakeholders in the value chain.

“There will be quick movement when you clear the inventory and the holding cost for the producer will be minimum,” Britto said, adding, “You are going to have a product continuously fed to the machines (theatres). So on one side people will come to theatres to watch and on the other OTT platforms will ensure the content is taken to a wider audience.”

According to estimates, Tamil film industry alone has over 50 ready-to-release films pending for the past one year.

“If the revenue of a producer increases, he will be motivated to take more movies which in turn will help the film industry which employs a huge number of people just like the logistics industry,” Britto said.

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Published on February 11, 2021
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