Cinema, to me, has always been more than a few well known faces on a large screen. It’s always been more than a few songs and action sequences strung together by a loose-ended love story. Safe to say, if you had a friend that would read everything about a movie before he went to watch it, I would be that friend. And also the person who would come back home, look for bloopers of the film online and read every bit of gossip specially generated for the film’s promotion, or otherwise.
I believe every movie has a story to tell – why each character behaves in the way he does. Why the hero and the heroine may not end up together. Why all films don’t have a happy ending. And my favourite kind is the ones where the film’s story speaks for itself. Films that don’t need a superstar or popular music to draw attention. Films that just are.
I’ve always been drawn to independent films – they don’t have mass appeal, they’re made for a specific audience, and they almost always have a great story to tell. Unfortunately, these films don’t get the grand opening they deserve. Which is where VOD platforms come into play. With most players working on enhancing the overall user experience, discovery of content has become so much easier. We’ve noticed a spurt in the consumption of indie films on our own platform, and it’s more because VOD(Video-on-Demand) does not have a shelf life. While a film is only as memorable as it’s run in cinemas, VOD platforms enable viewers to come back to the films they wouldn’t find even on their television sets top boxes.
And, if I really think about it, film has always been my escape route. From the mundane into a world that is sometimes so fascinating, I wish it really did exist. Indie films, especially, have always transported me to an alternate reality mainly because of certain issues highlighted, and the not so larger than life characters. They make you happy and sad, they make you laugh and cry, all at once. A good film never really leaves your system, the way we usually leave most films behind as we walk out of the cinema hall. Like I always say, I know I’ve seen a good film when I’m still about it 2 weeks after I’ve seen it for the first time.
It’s important to give these films the exposure they warrant. Not out of pity, or because no one’s heard of them. But because no one’s heard of them, and they should! I cannot speak for other VOD players, but we are trying to do our bit and expose these hidden gems to the user. Through our collection of independent films we pay tribute to the creative folks who may have a great story to tell, but not the money to sell it. And to the Indian audience, that is coming of age, and that demands something a little more ‘hatke’ than the regular fare.