A big digital boost for small films: How festival favourite films are a hit on OTT

The OTT platforms have been credited for creating a level playing field for actors, Not just actors but everyone involved in the process of creative process of content creation, be it writers, directors and pretty much everyone. And that does not stop there, the digital medium is also giving a much needed platform to those films, which have toured festivals all over.

The recent example being Rohena’s Gera’s Sir, a very impactful tale of love and class set in Mumbai. It has struck the right chord with the audiences upon its release on an OTT platform. The film starring Tillotama Shome and Vivek Gomber, premiered in the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2018.

“The film, after its premiere at Cannes, also travelled to other festivals around the world. It released in many European countries and also Japan. My heart was really in getting it to the Indian audiences. So I am happy that it finally has reached the masses here. There are so many amazing films that are there that you don’t know of. I think that is the challenge. The OTT platforms are a gigantic library. People can watch what they want to watch,” shares Gera.

Other recent examples of festival to OTT films include Arati Kadav’s sci-project Cargo, starring Vikrant Massey and Shweta Tripathi Sharma, which premiered at the 2019 MAMI Film Festival, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival, Axone, which premiered at the London Film Festival and Pareeksha which premiered at the 50th International Film Festival of India.

Happy that her film got the release even if it was an OTT platform, Kadav says, “I feel so positive with the response especially the way young college students are connecting with the film, creating videos, making art and writing about the themes of the film.”

Actor Divya Dutta, whose film Ramsingh Charlie was screened at various film festivals including London Indian Film Festival, before its release on an OTT.

“The OTT release was a great help to the film. It made it more visible and so many people ended up watching it,” she adds.

Actor Akshay Oberoi, whose film Chote Nawab won the best feature film award at The Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati recently. Talking about the film, which will head the OTT way, the actor had earlier said, “International means more audience, which is good for the actor and the film. When a film does good internationally, it gives you credibility.”

By Juhi Chakraborty

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