Theatre experience will not go away but reopening depends on vaccination, says leading filmmaker
GN Bureau | June 21, 2021
With technology evolving every day, it provides filmmakers ideas to get more creative and an edge to tell more stories. India currently has about 40 OTT platforms and the number is increasing by the day. With cinema halls shut during the pandemic-induced lockdown, people turned to OTT platforms in a big way to watch some of the most outstanding cinema which might not have a theatrical release otherwise or garnered an audience.
Has OTT stolen the thunder from cinema? According to Madhur Bhandarkar, the Padma Shri and four-time National Award winning filmmaker, even before the lockdown OTT was a popular platform among cinema lovers for watching choice content and co-existed with films. "OTT is here to stay. It will coexist with films,” he said.
Bhandarkar was speaking with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during a live webcast of the Visionary Talk series organised by public policy and governance analysis platform.
Watch the video:
“With OTT coming in, unlike earlier when a film was unable to get a theatrical release, now it offers them a platform for release. Good content films and those with mid- size budgets which were earlier denied their due and could not get a release in theatres are now being recognized on OTT platforms. Producers now are given good budget to make films. OTT has wider reach with good audience and this has been huge benefit. It is a good source of revenue.
“OTT platform is here to stay. Those who are creating original content qualitatively, it can be compared to films. The scale, budget and opulence of Hindi films as also of foreign films on OTT is huge. There is no doubt that OTT and films will coexist in their own space,” Bhandarkar said.
The acclaimed filmmaker said that during the lockdown over the last one and half years with people watching a lot of Indian cinema as well as foreign films on OTT it has made them cinema literate. Yet despite that the experience of going to cinema hall and having popcorn, Coke and snacks will not go away either and they will always want to come back to cinema halls. This, he said, may take some time till one or two films become box office hits. Till then people may not feel confident to watch movies in cinema halls.
He added that when a larger proportion of people get vaccinated and life comes back to normal, the euphoria and excitement of watching a film in the theatre will be back. “The charm of watching cinema in a movie theatre will not go away. [Reopening] depends on how fast vaccination happens and how many people are vaccinated.”
Bhandarkar, who is now making a film on the lockdown with stories around lives of migrant workers, sex workers, an airhostess and a middle-class father who meets his daughter amidst difficulties in the shutdown, said, "The film industry is now revamping every five years. With new content and new filmmakers coming in and easy access to the best of foreign films the envelop is consistently being pushed.”
Survival at Stake: How Our Treatment of Animals Is Key to Human Existence By Poorva Joshipura HarperCollins, 328 pages, Rs 499 With science now recognising animal consciousness, intelligence, emotion, and even morality, there must rise an awareness of
India`s tryst with trade through the Arctic regions, including the Northern Sea Routes (NSR), has become an impact-making endeavor recently. The Arctic of yore is now a pivot – point of geopolitics, of climate change discussions, and for economic opportunities; 40% of oil and gas reserves said to be
Investing Decoded: Simple Path To Building A Portfolio In Millions By Anirudh Rathore Penguin India, 320 pages, Rs 499
Deepfake has emerged as a serious threat to democracy and social institutions across the world. Propagation of deepfake content via social media platforms has aggravated this challenge. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has, from time to time, advised social media in
Two level of roads not enough, BMC to have triple traffic jams through underground junctions There is no shortage of short-sighted traffic experts who believe that creating more vertical space (either above or below the level) in already overcrowded and congested cities will be cou
The Election Commission of India’s persistent efforts have led to a significant and exponential increase in seizures in the five poll-going states of Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana. Seizures over Rs 1,760 crore have been reported in these five states since the announce