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Since 1st March, 1999
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Digital shows the day
Jisshu and Koel at the qube digital launch. picture by aranya sen

Tollywood is going digital, the Holly-Bolly way. Qube Digital Cinema, a Hollywood-approved digital projection technology currently installed in 40 cinema halls in Bengal, was formally launched last week by Shree Venkatesh Films.

The knowhow involves a high-end computer server and a digital projector linked to a high-speed satellite Internet network. The set-up provides high quality video projection and saves an exhibitor celluloid prints costing around Rs 50,000 per print.

“Earlier, we used to release films first in Calcutta and then in the suburbs. By then, the hype around a film would have fizzled out. But with Qube we can release a film all over Bengal. The technology is cost-effective too. While we end up spending Rs 45,000 per print, one needs to shell out just Rs 15,000 for a Qube digital projection.... We’ve already taken it to over 40 theatres across Bengal and we plan to extend the list shortly,” said Vishnu Mohta of Shree Venkatesh Films.

Venkatesh has recently released Love and Chirodini... Tumi Je Aamar in the Qube mode. “In terms of picture quality and sound, these films are on a par with Bollywood,” Vishnu added.

The mood was buoyant at Silver Spring where a host of producers, directors, exhibitors and actors had gathered to celebrate the launch. “We will benefit greatly through digital projections. The operating cost will come down. It will also cut down electricity cost. Qube is an effective deterrent against piracy. Plus, it provides the benefit of releasing films all over Bengal on the same day, which ensures greater revenue,” said distributor and exhibitor Arijit Dutta.

Filmmaker Goutam Ghose agreed. “Qube is the future of cinema. I can bet that in the next 10 years, celluloid prints will be passe and only digital projections will remain. This will take Bengali cinema forward,” he said.

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