SVF Cinemas: Largest Production House in East India with Over 135 Films to its Credit and Counting

By Mahendra Soni,    Co-Founder

By Mahendra Soni


The Cinema Exhibition business on the national level is experiencing a phase of consolidation, with the Top-4 looking at bolstering their screen count by acquiring the smaller players, but the untapped suburban markets of East India are a different terrain altogether. For the some reason, the single screens couldn’t take the leap of faith of upgrading at the pace the rest of the country did. Lack of basic amenities like clean toilets, seats, proper audio visual experience and an overall endemic like situation corroded the once more than 800 networks of single screen cinemas in Bengal’s locations. While the nation is moving towards an experience-driven growth with the advent of IMAX, Dolby Atmos, 4DX seating, 270-degree screens, childfriendly screens, Bengal is still grappling with screen penetration into suburban areas which were once goldmines!

Headquartered in Kolkata, SVF Cinemas began its journey in 1995 by Shrikant Mohta and Mahendra Soni, with Film Distribution and now, it is offering a complete set of leverages that have changed and shaped the Bengal Cinema Industry. From being Shree Venkatesh Films to becoming SVF Cinemas, the company stands apart majorly because of its strong expertise in producing and distributing cinemas. The unique offerings of SVF Cinemas include providing an unparalleled cinematic experience for the local audience, complete with elegant interiors, including cushioned push-back chairs, recliners and loungers in addition to state-of-the-art acoustic solutions. Most of Tier-II & III towns don’t have the resources for a full-fledged shopping mall instead, regional developers started the concept of ‘mini-malls’ consisting of one or two anchor stores, a food court and a few vanilla stores. In such a situation, SVF Cinemas, with its diverse ability to adapt to space and height availability in these buildings, serves as the footfall driver with a 2-3 screen multiplex model. SVF has launched its own ultra-luxurious range of screens named ‘SVF Muse’ which will boast of loungers and recliners at par with the premium screen offerings of the national & international players. These screens will also have concierge-on-call with iPads for order taking.

Mahendra Soni, Co-Founder SVF Cinemas says, “In East India, the last couple of decades saw 600 single screen cinemas shutting down. While others may see this as an indicator of the industry dying out SVF saw an opportunity to create a renaissance of sorts to get the movie goers back into the theatre. SVF Cinemas has always pushed the envelope to ensure the holistic growth of the Bengali Film Industry. Started with film distribution, now, we have become the leading Producer of Bengal Cinema. Also, we
are an inch closer to our 150th inhouse film production”. SVF has produced 30 television shows and has distributed Bollywood and Hollywood films in Eastern India. Also, it has launched its own web platform Hoichoi and created Sangeet Bangla as well.

SVF has launched its own ultra-luxurious range of screens named ‘SVF Muse’ which will boast of loungers and recliners at par with the premium screen offerings of the national & international players

Striving to Revive the Ailing Cinema Exhibition Business
Entertainment and Media is an industry that is growing rapidly and SVF Cinemas has been a instrumental in changing the shape of the Bengali Cinema by initiating numerous projects. It is taking an initiative of reviving the ailing cinema exhibition business by delivering the best cinematic experience to every part of Bengal initially, followed by the entirety of East India at an affordable price range. SVF Cinemas also took the initiative of the First multiplex chain in the country to be present in more than five districts of West Bengal and looks poised to surpass its own record by crossing 10 districts by 2020. Also, SVF Cinema can be recognized as a first player in the industry to bring-forth a multiplex in a town like Purulia(in West Bengal) in August 2015, which was classified as a ‘backward district’.

Another milestone that makes SVF Cinemas different from its competitors as they drove footfall backinto an ailing shopping mall in Narendrapur, West Bengal by accommodating a 3-screen multiplex within a clear height of 12 feet 7 inches a first of its kind in East India. They recently opened multiplex in Jalpaiguri with plush push back sofa seating which marks the entry of SVF Cinemas into North of Bengal and takes the true multiplex experience beyond the confines of the only Metro city of the region Siliguri.

SVF Cinemas, since its inception has set its mission to amend the core issues prevailing in the market. These include modernizing the conventional single screen experience into an enthralling audiovisual multiplex experience for the cinema fanatic with comfortable seating, clean & hygienic washrooms airconditioned auditoriums & lobbies an array of Food & Beverage options in addition to pocket-friendly ticket rates targeting the massive 70+ million suburban population of Bengal.

Currently, SVF Cinemas has a line up of 50 signed screens in premium locations spread across Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand, and will touch 25 screens with 5000+ seating inventory within the Fiscal year 2019- 20. The penultimate target for the first phase is to start operating 100 screens by 2022 in Eastern India. Also SVF Cinemas is aiming towards a footfall of more than 12 lakh patrons in the Fiscal year 2019-20, thus recording a year on-growth of 35 percent from the previous year.

Owing to his vast experience, Mahendra has produced over 125 Bengali films till date, five of the National Award winners and scores of them Filmfare, Centenary Award, YouTube’s Silver Button, Silver Peacock and Golden Leopard awardees. He has made a mark for the company not just in East India, but nationally too.

Offices: Kolkata(HQ), Purulia, Bolpur, Baruipur, Krishnanagar, Narendrapur, Sheoraphuli, Mogra, Jalapaiguri
and Giridih

Offerings: Film Production, Film Distribution, Television content Production, Digital Cinema, Music, New Media, Cinemas and Equipment Rental.