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How Kabali travelled to 30 countries

The Hindu, July 30, 2016

A look at Qube Wire, the revolutionary web-based key management system that facilitated the massive 3,500-screen release of Kabali

Imagine the logistical nightmare of transporting bulky film reels to over 3,000 screens in 30 countries! But with digital projection, aided by a new web-based key management system called Qube Wire, this gargantuan task gets accomplished with almost the ease of playing a video game. “Filmmakers, producers and distributors can now manage and control where their film is getting screened by sitting in their offices with our software,” says Senthil Kumar, co-founder of Qube Cinema. “Earlier, each of these 3,500 screens would have required a specific key, which had to be manually assigned to the exhibitor after thousands of email exchanges with our company.”

What made this technology possible is the massive database the company has painstakingly created over time, with details of thousands of theatres, exhibitors and their projection technology around the world. “It’s like how we used to go to travel agents to book tickets,” explains Jayendra Panchapakesan, co-founder. “Now, we have apps on our phone which give us all the details. Qube Wire makes exhibiting films that easy for distributors.”

The firm is also in the process of making the whole process of distribution cheaper, by making it possible to upload the entire film on a cloud. “This could eliminate the need for distributors to physically transfer films using expensive hard disks or via satellite. It will cut costs by half,” adds Senthil Kumar.

Isn’t this technology just for blockbusters eyeing a worldwide release? “Not at all,” says Jayendra. “It’s just as beneficial for smaller films that look at film festivals as their only source of income. Instead of the makers having to take their films to festivals themselves, they can now sit home and control where their film gets screened, even if it’s just a screen or two in Europe or the US.”

The company ensured that this technology debuted with the release of Kabali. “We had our entire staff working on Kabali. You can’t take a chance with a Rajini film.”