Showing a film in movie theaters is not easy. From the creation of the film, through distribution, publicity and public acceptance, the process is long and tedious.
This is the case of “Teloneras”, a documentary directed by Rómulo Sulca, which had a recent run through Peruvian cinemas. Beyond achieving a space in various rooms —was exhibited in Huancayo, Arequipa and Lima (Santa Anita, Independencia)—, the national film not only had a reduced distribution, but also exhibition schedules that did not help its overcrowding: 2:50 p.m., 3:20 p.m., 4:00 p.m. m and 9.30 p.m. m, were some of them.
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In a conversation with La República, Sulca reflected on this process and how certain obstacles prevented “Teloneras” from reaching the general public. “We had a complicated schedule. At 2 in the afternoon people don’t go to the movies. Nothing is sought for free, but support beyond just ‘looking good for showing a Peruvian film,’” he shared.
“Teloneras” began in 2011 as a short film, but before reaching theaters it had to go through more than one problem: lack of budget and government support. This caused its premiere not to take place until 2019. In that year, the plot could not only be exhibited at festivals, but also won awards, the same ones that allowed it notoriety.
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Faced with a complicated schedule and little publicity by the exhibitors on their respective platforms, a point against that “Teloneras” found was the public, one that, in many cases, goes to the cinema to see great titles and leaves aside the opportunity to discover powerful stories with a cultural contribution behind.
“They don’t give a big movie such a bad schedule, but a Peruvian one does. They put the trailer for ‘Teloneras’ at the shows the day it premiered and not before, like the rest of the films. There are people who have told me that they have tried to buy tickets through the cinema applications and they have not been able to because it did not come out, despite being on the billboard. It was the opening day and there were no schedules. How can we compete against this? These are some of the things that cannot be allowed. We are a country that does not have an audiovisual education. The state should intervene and prepare the public,” Sulca said.
“Teloneras” leaves the movie theaters perhaps not with a great box office, but with the achievement of, despite the obstacles and how difficult it is to achieve an exhibition, having managed to carve out a space on the local billboard. Its director bets in the future that the public can see it on a streaming platform. We just have to wait.
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