Curating Indie Cinema with PickUrFlick
When you talk to people, you start with leveraging a common ground – be it their favourite game or their favourite movie. Films and entertainment are something which definitely excites everyone, whether you talk to a friend, potential employee or an investor. This week, InstaOffice is proud to introduce one of our members, Abhishek Sinha, who is running a company called PickUrFlick. His platform curates Indie Cinema from all around the world.
Putting everything together
His journey started not quite where we expected – he is an engineering graduate with an MBA in marketing, who went on to work in Sales and Marketing in the construction industry!
Abhishek has always had a keen interest in films and entertainment, but it finally materialized some time into his job when he thought to himself,” If I am spending so much time thinking about it, then why not just do it?” Abhishek recalls – “During engineering days, we used to have a video rental store and I always used to dream about having one so that I can watch and rent out the best there is.”
When Abhishek quit his job to pursue this full-time, like many entrepreneurs, it wasn’t easy. However, support and belief in his determination from his loved ones made it easier and made him stronger. “Success and failure are relative. Unless you take the plunge and do it, you’ll never know”, says Abhishek.
While he was initially playing around with the idea of video retail in the form of DVD Rentals, he had always known that streaming would be the future. Abhishek says, “I’ve always wanted to go with streaming but initially I wasn’t sure how to. DVD is easy – it’s a trade. You get DVD from a distributor and you sell it online. But with streaming, you need to work on the technology and licensing agreements.”
“When I started working with streaming, I realised that when people come to any platform, they expect quantity apart from quality.
Even before the product was launched, I had started networking within the filmmaking community – like young filmmakers who make short films. I had to set up the supply side before the product came up. That networking helped me in bringing the initial content on the platform.
We also partnered with various festivals like the Campus Movie Fest in Delhi which helped us bring the content on the platform. When we started it was hardly 4-5 films, but eventually with tie-ups and social media networking, and the film festival we did this year we brought in more and more content.
PickUrFlick is a 5-member team, with Abhishek, 2 advisors and 2 developers who are working remotely.
Abhishek says, “With PickUrFlick not curating mainstream content, it was exciting and a little challenging getting a team in place. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a team which is right from day 0 and is still a part of it. I believe it’s their belief in the vision which has kept them together as a part of the company”
The road ahead
This is a critical phase for PickUrFlick, with them looking at fundraising and expansion. Having validated the product, they will be scaling up by bringing in more content and monetization opportunities for indie filmmakers. “Partnerships are crucial – like the one with InstaOffice in terms of screenings and the initiatives we work with (like media partners) – for they will really help us run fast, sustain and continue to drive people to our platform and our content. Fundraising is just one part of the startup.”
PickUrFlick and InstaOffice
Abhishek says, “It has played a very crucial role in my entrepreneurial journey. InstaOffice is my first office as an entrepreneur. I was initially working from cafes and my home for the first 2-3 months. It wasn’t working out. When I started working from InstaOffice, my productivity really increased. When you interact with your stakeholders, be it a potential employee, investors or alliances, it gives a different impression when you call them to your office and give them an office address. It brings a lot of confidence to us as well as the potential stakeholders with whom we are discussing. InstaOffice has helped us with 2 things – credibility and product”.
One advice to people who are starting up
“Faith is one thing, but before quitting, you should validate the concept before you come into it full-time. Further, it’s very important to have a good founding team. It takes the unnecessary load off, and people with different competencies can take different responsibilities.”
Some film advice from the curator himself!
We asked Abhishek which films he would recommend from his own collection, and he gave us the three closest ones to his heart –
My Life I don’t want – It’s a film from Myanmar. It has a very beautiful message and is very relevant for India, or rather, the whole subcontinent. It has a very beautiful message in a very subtle way it portrays the life of a girl child and the various issues a girl goes through.
Ayny – My second eye: This movie won a Student Golden Oscar award. It talks about two brothers who are living in a war strife zone, and how they overcome their misery to be together. It’s a great story and very inspirational – a bit tragic, though.
Champion – This is a Spanish short film. Very inspirational. It’s about the relationship of a guy with his dog who is dying, in the backdrop of a world cup match in which Spain was in finals. This guy is struggling to get rid of his dog and leaves him in the middle of the road, but he can’t let go of him. A great story about bonding and emotions.
The three movies he would definitely recommend –
Pursuit of Happyness – It was inspirational from the point of view of both an entrepreneur and a father.
Forrest Gump – It’s a very inspirational movie, for it’s all about hope.
The Godfather – Abhishek’s all-time favourite! It’s not just a crime drama, but it also has a lot of life lessons in it.
PickUrFlick recently conducted a screening for our members, and the response was remarkable.
To know more about PickUrFlick and Abhishek’s journey as an entrepreneur, catch Abhishek’s interview at the Pickurflick Indie Film Festival team.
To find your film, visit http://pickurflick.com/