HOW INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS CAN BE A PART OF THE OTT REVOLUTION - The Daily Guardian
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HOW INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS CAN BE A PART OF THE OTT REVOLUTION

Noor Anand Chawla

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The widespread acceptance of OTT streaming platforms in the last couple of years—by filmmakers and audiences alike – has been nothing short of revolutionary. A number of creative souls have begun to hope for a chance to showcase their work and earn fame and recognition. Cracking the big OTT networks without insider access seems nearly impossible, but there is an easy solution at hand.

ABC (All Bout Cinema) Talkies is a film-tech start-up launched in February 2021, which describes itself as the ‘World’s First Cinema Marketplace’. It is a free trade platform aimed at connecting cinema / OTT networks with independent filmmakers, who can showcase their work of art and monetise it. ABC Talkies also assists these filmmakers with the marketing and promotion of their creations.

“Our platform is a versatile, analytical and connected marketplace, whose mission is to transform the way people make and watch movies. ABC Talkies intends to bring about a cinematic revolution by allowing talent to transition into the digital world seamlessly. We are keen on fostering talent from Tier-II cities, smaller towns and states where opportunities for filmmakers are otherwise few and far between,” say the founders, Shalibhadra Shah and Siddharth Sinha.

With digital content consumption growing exponentially post-pandemic, consumers are looking for new-age content. Hence, there could not be a more opportune time for indie filmmakers to find their footing and grow. The ABC Talkies model works on a pay-per-view basis for the audience. All categories of films are included such as short films, feature films, documentaries and cine plays. The filmmakers choose what they want to earn as revenue on ticket sales. An array of in-house film reviewers watch the film, rate it and give their feedback. On the basis of this feedback, a few good films are picked every month for a spotlight on the filmmaker and the films through various marketing and PR initiatives.

Further, ABC Talkies offers the service of dubbing films in any other language if they reach a certain milestone of viewership on the platform. “Certain films have a great story but are not shot well because of a monetary crunch, hence we pick such films and help the filmmakers to recreate those films through sponsorships from corporate clients. Every film on our platform that reaches a certain viewership milestone is opened up to other OTT platforms or independent distributors to preview and buy,” explains Shah.

Though there are similar platforms available around the world, there is none in India. “What we offer to filmmakers in the country is something no other platform is offering and we want to become the trusted digital library where OTTs come and buy commercially viable indie films directly from the creator,” shares Sinha.

Recently, this film-tech startup raised Rs 2 crore in fresh funds from an Ahmedabad-based angel investor, who is also the CMD of a 21-year-old IT company with over 500 employees. ABC Talkies plans to deploy the new capital into accelerating the growth of the brand. This includes strengthening product development, increasing its marketing activities, improving the quality of content, and increasing the number of filmmakers with the pay-per-view option for monetisation.

Shah explains, “We are in the process of our mobile app development and this round of funding could not have come at a better time. ABC Talkies is at a critical juncture where scaling and sustaining operations is extremely important for survival. This funding will help ABC Talkies continue with its goal of becoming India’s first and only film-tech platform while helping it scale up.”

Adding to this, Sinha says, “A shift is expected in the way content is consumed. Thus this seems like an ideal time for us to ramp up our services and the funding for our platform has come in right on time.”

Unlike regular OTT platforms, ABC Talkies does not restrict films from being uploaded on its platform, with the only caveat being that they conform to government guidelines. Uploading of films is free of cost, which makes it a truly unique platform combining film and technology to offer a completely distinctive experience to the audience.

The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on nooranand@gmail.com.

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

SIDDHANT BRINGS A LUXURIOUS HARLEY DAVIDSON HOME

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MUMBAI: Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi recently brought home a luxurious Harley Davidson Sportster S, making him the first person in India to have the bike.

The ‘Gehraiyaan’ actor took to his social media to share the news of the same with his fans and followers. The actor, who rose to fame with MC Sher from Gully Boy, has certainly come a long way in the matter of just 3 years, which is a rather remarkable feat.

On the work front, Siddhant is currently gearing up for Shakun Batra’s next ‘Gehraiyaan’. He also has ‘Phone Booth’, ‘Yudhra’ and ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in the pipeline. 

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SONAL CHAUHAN TO PLAY LEAD IN AKKINENI NAGARJUNA’S THE GHOST

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MUMBAI: Akkineni Nagarjuna’s ‘The Ghost’ is a much-anticipated film ever since its announcement. Earlier it was said that the Bollywood star, Jacqueline Fernandez was cast for the film however, the word on the block is that the talented Sonal Chauhan will be playing the lead opposite Nagarjuna instead of Jacqueline.

That’s right, Sonal Chauhan fans are in for a treat as they get to see their favourite actress on the silver screen. A source close to the film said “Makers felt Sonal Chauhan was the best fit for the lead role opposite Nagarjuna in ‘The Ghost’. They felt both the actors Sonal and Nagarjuna would make for a fine on-screen pair and that’s when they approached her. The two are definitely going to portray some great chemistry in the film.” 

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SALMAN TO FEATURE IN GURU RANDHAWA’S NEW SONG

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MUMBAI: Superstar Salman Khan will be seen flaunting his acting skills in singer Guru Randhawa’s new song ‘Main Chala’.

Female vocals of the track have been lent by Lulia Vantur, and the female artist who will be featuring alongside Salman is Pragya Jaiswal. On Tuesday, Guru Randhawa took to Instagram and shared the update with his fans.

“Love will be in air with #MainChala! Song releasing on 22nd January. Stay Tuned,” he wrote.

He tagged Salman Khan and Pragya in the comments. Produced by Salma Khan, the romantic track will be out on January 22.

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ARJUN MATHUR TO ADARSH GOURAV: HERE’S LOOKING AT THE TOP THREE OTT NEWSMAKERS

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MUMBAI: The past few years have been a revelation for Indian cinema with the influx of OTT content. From handling an out-of-box idea to bringing forth a crucial issue in the limelight – our actors are going all out with their digital ventures!

While we saw some of the finest performances on the streaming platforms last year, there are a few names that define the space with their path-breaking performances, unconventional takes, and impeccable cinema sense. So, here’s rounding up the top four OTT newsmakers.

ARJUN MATHUR: You cannot have a list of the ground-breaking stars without Arjun Mathur. The international Emmy Award-nominated actor has pushed the boundaries with his non-conformist choices, like playing a gay wedding planner in Made In Heaven or shooting a show in a lockdown with The Gone Game. Now, he has Made In Heaven S2, Gone Game 2, Lord Curzon Ki Haveli, and Lionsgate Play’s next series.

PRATIK GANDHI: Pratik Gandhi became a household name with his blockbuster series, Scam 1992. The actor earned massive acclaim for his apt and flamboyant performance of Harshad Mehta. Later, he stunned the audience with his brave selections – Bhavai and Shimmy. Coming up next for the actor are Atithi Bhooto Bhava, Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan?, and Six Suspects.

ADARSH GOURAV: With his solid performance in The White Tiger, Adarsh Gourav has made it into everyone’s watchlist. The new-age actor bagged the BAFTA nomination for his performance and is all set to step into Hollywood with his next venture, Extrapolations, starring Meryl Streep. 

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PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ WAS MY GURU BUT ALSO MY FRIEND: MADHURI

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NEW DELHI: Behind every successful person, there are unfailing efforts of teachers. Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj played the role of that guru in actor Madhuri Dixit Nene’s life.

After learning about the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj, Madhuri, on Monday, took to Twitter and opened up about her relationship with him. “He was a legend but had a child like innocence. He was my guru but also my friend. He taught me the intricacies of dance and Abhinay but never failed to make me laugh at his funny anecdotes,” she wrote.

“He has left behind grieving fans and students but also left a legacy we will all carry forward. Thank you Maharajji for everything you taught me in dance along with humility, elegance and grace. Koti koti pranam,” she added.

Alongside the note, Madhuri posted a throwback picture of her doing mukhdas with Pandit Birju Maharaj. For the unversed, Pandit Birju Maharaj, who breathed his last on Monday, had worked with Madhuri in films like ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’, ‘Devdas’ and ‘Dedh Ishqiya’.

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Bollywood in awe of Pushpa & Allu Arjun

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Mumbai: Pushpa star Allu Arjun, the talk of the town, has absolutely impressed
his fans,audiences, actors in the South and also many bigwigs in Bollywood. The
stylish star with his emphatic performance has won the hearts of many in the Hindi
speaking regions. Now, Bollywood is all praise for Pushpa Raj aka Allu Arjun and
the movie, reiterate what the stylish star has said in the film, ‘Pushpa is not flower,
it is fire’. Completely entranced by Allu Arjun’s splendid work in “Pushpa”,
and also as the Hindi version in the North belt alone grossed Rs 100 crore
in box office collections in 25 days of its run, actors and big producers
in Bollywood have taken notice, and are now speaking about the
stylish star’s ability to charm viewers.
At a time when Allu Arjun has amassed a big fan following in
Hindi-speaking regions, there are reports of Bollywood producers lining up to cast him in their next Hindi films. Also, many
Hindi actors are showing interest to act in his upcoming pan-India movies. It is also reportedly said that producers are looking
to get Hindi dubbing or remake rights of the icon star’s upcoming films as they feel he will dominate the cinema space now.
The passion Allu Arjun put into his Pushpa Raj character is
so evident that people are just captivated by him.

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