The Success Story of The President Is Coming

Rohan Sippy’s attempt at bringing India’s first ever ‘mockumentary’ in the form of The President Is Coming, has proved to be a success. The film, which opened across cinema halls on Jan 9th this year, has been appreciated by the critics and the multiplex going audience. What’s even more surprising is the fact that the makers didn’t go overboard in the marketing of the film through conventional methods such as hoardings, T.V. spots, major launch parties and star studded events etc. Instead, keeping in mind the theme of the film and the audience that it caters to, Rohan Sippy and his team of The President Is Coming have capitalized on the power of the online medium (internet) to spread the word about the film. Bollywood Hungama spoke to Rohan to get some more details on this novel idea. “The idea for using the online medium to promote the film came from the content of the film itself.

You have to see the content and then decide what would be the best way to make it reach out to maximum people. But more than anything else we had complete confidence in our film.” So what were some of the ways that the makers used to promote the film? “We went in for new and innovative ways of creating awareness about the film. So you had community groups formed around The President Is Coming, just like Obama formed community groups across the US to be ‘Ambassadors’ of the campaign. These communities spread the word even further and India’s bludgeoning young internet population, the exact same demographic that also goes to the urban multiplex, knew of this film through sites like Bollywood Hungama, You Tube, Facebook etc. Web videos, chat sites, discussion groups, photos and trivia were created for millions of India’s internet population (and growing), most of whom live in the cities, and for most of whom, a movie like The President Is Coming is a movie that they would watch”, adds Rohan. So how has been the response to the film so far? “The response has been very good for a small budget film like ours. With each day, the film is picking up mainly through positive word-of-mouth. Many of our shows are running ‘Housefull’ even in the second week which is commendable for a film which did not have a single T.V. ad. It shows that there is an audience for such kind of intelligent humour”, says the excited filmmaker. Now that the small budget film is having a successful run at the B.O. despite the biggies, what is next on the agenda? “A lot of people in countries like US are keen to see the film. So we intend to have a limited release of The President Is Coming in the US on Feb 6th.” adds Rohan. Finally, a film like The President Is Coming would surely find a large audience in the Home Video segment. So when do the makers plan to release the DVD? “Yes…we are in talks with a couple of labels and by next week, we should be announcing the date of the DVD’s release.

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