Filmmaker Abhishek Sharma says though releasing films on OTT has become a convenient option for many, the relevance of theatrical release of a film has increased because filmmakers now have to adhere to the gold standard to draw people to theatres.
“The relevance of theatrical release of a film has increased because now we have to match the gold standard for each film that we will plan to release in theatres. Due to the global pandemic, and with the way our lifestyle has changed, going to the theatre for watching a movie is not a ‘timepass’ anymore. People are putting a high value in stepping out to get entertained. At least, for the next year or two, things will go on like this,” Sharma told IANS.
He added: “The films we will get to see in theatres from now on will not only be about big stars but also about big canvas — basically an experience that is worth watching in theatres. I think people will find it hard to go to the theatres to watch watching a slice-of-life film, they would rather watch those on the OTT platform. So, the basic purpose of a theatrical release is coming back. We have to offer the audience a larger-than-life or a surreal experience on big screen.”
Sharma, who is known for his slice-of-life films like “Tere Bin Laden” films, “Parmanu” and “Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari”, is not surprisingly vocal about the larger-than-life experience. His next film is “Ram Setu”, a lavish adventure starring Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar. The film was announced on Diwali 2020 by Akshay on social media, along with a first-look poster that suggests a blend of mythology and action, myth and reality.
“I would like to offer a theatrical experience to my audience. That was the reason I wanted my ‘Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari’ to have a theatrical release. Having said that, we really have to treat a story worth ‘watching’ in cinema and have to set a high standard for every member of the audience step out of the house,” he said.
“I think now the theatre is the ocean where only sharks — those big canvas films — will swim, and the fish will find their space in the aquarium of OTT,” he signed off with a laugh.
–ians, Arundhuti Banerjee