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Changing demographics lead to more Indian-language movies in the north | CBC News

If you’ve noticed more Indian movies in northern Ontario theatres you’re not alone.

Thanks to more migration from south Asia to cities like Sudbury and Thunder Bay, there have also been more movies in languages like Hindi and Punjabi on the big screen.

Robert Cousins, Cineplex’s senior vice-president for film, said the company started to really ramp up the number of Indian-language movies it screens in northern Ontario just prior to the pandemic.

“At Cineplex we have always seen that our movie theatres should be representative of the communities in which they are, and our communities now are more than just Hollywood,” Cousins said.

Cousins said it’s the distributors who choose which markets will work best for their movies. And it’s audiences who dictate how long a movie will play in a particular market.

“In some places, one week is enough. In some cases, it’s two to three weeks because the audiences are coming out for that film,” Cousins said.

He said the Indian action movie K.G.F.: Chapter 2 in particular, was a big hit in Sudbury.

The 2021 Census showed a big increase in people who speak languages from south Asia in Greater Sudbury.

The number of people who speak Punjabi as their first language, for example, jumped by 340 per cent, from 110 people in 2016 to 485 in 2021.

Suketu Patel, a board member with the India Canada Association of Sudbury, said that when he first arrived in Sudbury in 2008, it was more difficult to convince Indian movie distributors to bring their films to the city.

“Since the last three or four years, we see a number of Bollywood movies, new releases, coming in town and Cineplex is quite supporting in that nature,” he said.

Patel said there are also many more Indian restaurants in the region today, to accommodate changing tastes as more people from south Asia move to northern Ontario for school and work.

Up North7:39Cineplex cinemas adding more and more Indian films – to Northern Ontario’s delight

If you’ve taken a look at the showtimes at your local theatre lately, you might have noticed a growing number of Indian films on offer. Host Jonathan Pinto reached Robert Cousins, Senior VP of Film for Cineplex, to learn more.

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