The Wall Street Journal chatted with me about Bollywood’s global appeal:
Big film stars and big films are lifelines for the expatriate Indian. They need Hindi cinema to stay in touch with home. Directors like Yash Chopra and Karan Johar figured out the formula for NRIs: big budgets, international locations and themes like family and home.
“The (NRI) audiences are not just looking at a film, they are looking at a way to connect to a value system,” said Anuvab Pal, an Indian screen writer who spent much of his life abroad. “They don’t want to watch cutting-edge cinema.”
Mr. Pal’s first movie “The Loins of Punjab Presents,” a comedy set in the U.S., was aimed at an international audience. He expected a healthy turnout from NRIs but his biggest audience ended up being at home.
“I was a little bit surprised because the story was set in Edison, New Jersey,” he said. “Our audience has mainly been city people in India.”