First on Netflix, U-Turn opens up world markets for Kannada films

Directed by Pawan Kumar, the thriller is being subtitled in 27 languages and will become accessible to a mind-boggling 8.3 crore subscribers across the globe

Published: 22nd July 2016 06:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2016 06:59 AM   |  A+A-

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BENGALURU: U-Turn, the mystery thriller now running at cinemas in Bengaluru, will become the first Kannada film to release on Netflix worldwide.

Directed by the young Pawan Kumar, it tells the story of an accident from the perspective of a crime reporter working for The New Indian Express.

“People can soon watch U-Turn on Netflix, which has 8.3 crore subscribers,” a delighted Pawan told Express.

“The film has gone for subtitling in 27 languages, and will go online in October or early November,” he said. Upgraded to 5.1 surround sound, the film is expected to be a more complete experience on home theatre systems.

Pawan considers Netflix an exciting new avenue for filmmakers. Shot in Bengaluru, with the Double Road flyover as a locale, U-Turn completed 75 days at the multiplexes this week.

“Netflix doesn’t take just any film with huge box office reports. They base their choice on the content. They saw the film and immediately decided to have it on their portal,” Pawan said.

The team has sent the film with English subtitles, and Netflix has forwarded it to agencies worldwide that subtitle films in different languages. 

Pawan says his exploration began soon after he made Life-u Ishtene (That’s All There is to Life) in 2011. “I realised we couldn’t go far just with theatre releases. That’s when I started looking at options online.” Friends suggested he upload his films on YouTube. But he had heard of Netflix, and wrote to them. They hadn’t bought any Indian film then.

He is thrilled by the scale of the online streaming service. “Netflix is so big that Hollywood depends on it to produce films today. I was always wondering when we would be on it.”

It has happened with U-Turn. Netflix saw the trailer and wanted to know more about the film. That’s when Pawan explained to them how the film might fare across the globe.

Pawan is happy news about U-Turn comes amid the frenzy about the Rajinikanth release Kabali. “For one week, everybody is raving about Kabali taking over many theatres and screens, which should not be the case. I am glad we are instrumental is taking U-Turn to a global audience. We should think globally when we make a film,” he said.


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