By Jyothi Venkatesh
OTT will be the ‘Circle of Hope’ in the near future; opine film experts during a panel discussion on ’OTT or Theatre’ at PIFF. ‘When the theatres were closed during the lockdown, the entertainment sector was doing well due to the ‘OTT’. Also in the near future, producers and directors who would want to create content, but are unsure where to screen it, OTT will emerge as a ‘circle of hope’ for them’ opined experts from the film industry.
The experts were speaking during a panel discussion on the subject ‘OTT or Theatre’ organized by Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal Workshop & PIFF during the 19th Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) held at PVR Icon, Senapati Bapat road.
Akshay Bardapurkar, Founder of Planet Marathi, Swwapnil Joshi, Actor and Founder of upcoming OTT platform- One OTT, Dr Ajay Phutane, Film producer and distributor, Meghrajraje Bhosale, President of Akhil Bhratiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal, Vinod Satav and Dr. Jabbar Patel, Director, PIFF were present during the discussion.
Talking about his OTT experience, Akshay Bardapurkar said, “My film ‘AB and CD’, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Vikram Gokhale got released on the day when the lockdown started. But the OTT platform helped me recover all the money that I had put in the film. Similarly, many film-makers were able to sustain due to OTT during COVID.”
Swwapnil Joshi said, “The Marathi film industry has given me a lot. Now with the idea of giving something back to the film ecosystem and to get out of this industry’s debt, I am introducing the platform ‘One OTT’. I want to provide content in Marathi, Gujarati, Bhojpuri and Bengali through the platform. The success of web-series ‘Samantar’ has given us a head start on all these endeavours and has also boosted our confidence.”
According to Dr. Phutane, the journey of the film industry has been changing over the last several decades with the introduction of revolutionary technologies like magnifying glass, touring talkies, tents, one-screen cinemas, multiplexes, IMAX, Dolby, 2D and now 5D.
Also read: Nushrratt Bharuccha: “I have always learnt on the job and found my own way to do a character”
“Reaching the audience on global platform, entertainment has become a basic need today with India being the largest entertainment market in the world. Although OTT is now an option along with the theatres, there will be competition and both options will be considered,” he stated.
Bardapurkar said that as Marathi language has the second largest audience in the world today, regional languages have a great opportunity to be on the OTT platform. Meghraj Raje Bhosale said that as regional language film and film-makers face many challenges in the post-COVID era, such seminars can answer their questions. “There are many doubts about the OTT medium. But after the film is made, an attempt is made to solve the problems faced by the producers through its distribution and exhibition,” Patel said.