With many good projects going the OTT way, can the present time be termed as the beginning of the end for the multiplex monopoly over films?
Filmmakers of all languages, including Kannada, are facing the problem. However, the OTTs have shown them a new path.
Recently, Two Kannada films—French Biryani and Law—have decided to go for the digital release. Puneeth Rajkumar of the PRK Productions has confirmed the news.
In fact, the surge in viewership during the lockdown has come as a boost for the Kannada-language content.
“It may change the audience behaviour and would impact the footfall in theaters even in the post lockdown period. New habits like watching movie at your own convenient time and place may have been formed,” said Satish Kumar, Regional Manager, Cenepolis.
Sumana Kittur of Edegarike echoed similar sentiments. He said, “OTT would rule the roost with content-oriented films as the new age actors and directors are ready to experiment with bold, raw and untouched subjects.”
Many Kannada movies which didn’t leave a mark at the box office, are breaking new grounds on digital platforms. “As OTTs are doing well, digital viewers have to be kept in mind while making movies,” said National Award winning filmmaker Mansore.
He also observes that the Kannada film industry still retains a certain kind of orthodoxy in terms of themes and subjects.
“It is time to have realistic approach. Films with extraordinary visual effects would make people to come to the theaters, like Avengers Endgame. Otherwise they’ll be happy to see a film on OTTs,” said KM Chaitanya, Director, Aa Dingalu.
“Thriller and high content movies may hold the key to future for Kannada films, said filmmaker Arvind Sringeri.
Other Kannada filmmakers such as Akash Srivastav and Anup Bandari are also hopeful about the changes the industry will see in coming days.
While Srivastav said that the industry “needs to be diligent in picking scripts,” Bandari believed that the “OTT trend is here to stay.”
However, all said and done, is the Kannada film industry ready to come out of its traditional mindset and explore new grounds?
(Author Reena Poonacha is a film journalist)