IFFI 2017 started with an interesting and informative panel discussion conducted by filmmaker Bharat Bala on the topic ‘Digital Space: The Future Ahead’ in the presence of eminent guests from the film industry and digital world including Shekhar Kapur, Sudhir Mishra, Vijay Subramaniam (Director – Content – Amazon Prime Video India), Nachiket Pantvaidya (CEO, ALT Digital), Sameer Nair (CEO – Applause Entertainment) and Karan Anshuman (Filmmaker & Producer).
The panel discussion was about the Digital Space – whether it’s a threat or a blessing to cinema and the opportunities available to everyone using the online medium.
Shekhar Kapur says, “Someone met me outside the auditorium and asked me how to become a filmmaker. So I asked him if he is able to shoot the movie on his phone, edit it on the computer, and upload it on You Tube, he said yes. The question is do you want to be an iconic filmmaker or a filmmaker. In order to be an iconic filmmaker over a period of time, you develop the idea of the gatekeepers and in today’s time, Amazon and Netflix are the new gatekeepers. So they decide but before that there were studios, production houses, etc. There’s a huge technology shift. Netflix and Amazon became the rebels and became the icons themselves in their space. Gatekeepers take advantage of technology.”
NachiketPantvaidya adds, “Internet medium is almost free for the consumers. So the pipes are laid in and the consumers are getting it free. There’s almost one million crore rupees invested in the pipe and so there’s a huge gap between the content that is served on the pipes and investment on these pipes. There’s a huge gap between Naagin and Narcos. For instance, we only have homemade food available as compared to having Mughlai or any other variety in terms of the content available on the internet. That’s a very important space that’s the Indian original space is going to occupy. Digital is the way by which you can do home delivery for cinema. You can order at home and enjoy it in a different atmosphere.”
Sudhir Mishra adds, “Most of the digital content is being watched on the smartphone. The digital space is wonderful because it allows you to have that little cloud of self-censorship in your head also disappears, so you work freely.”
Sameer Nair points out, “It’s always been audiences who decide the fate of the films, and as they rightly say there’s no entertainment without applause. The gatekeepers are driven by revenue and economics, so it has always been that the audience will decide. Digital is a good space to be in. Today, we are not talking about theatre screens but mobile screens.”
The 48th Edition of IFFI is being held from the 20th to 28th of November, 2017 in the beach state of Goa.