Bejoy Nambiar talks about the 2023 OTT landscape and the lack of saturation in content.
Filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar's latest OTT series, Kaala, is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. The series featuring Avinash Tiwary, Rohan Vinod Mehra, and Jitin Gulati is about financial scams and is based on "reverse hawala." Non-linear falls under the crime drama genre, and in today's times, on OTT, several titles of that genre have made their way. During an exclusive interaction with OTTplay, Bejoy was asked about how Kaala fits into the landscape of crime drama given that there are many series already.
Unique approach to crime drama
The filmmaker told us, "I'm not trying to fit into the landscape at all. Yes, there have been many more series and long-form shows that dealt with the same genre. But I can't use that as a base to tell my story. In my head, I'm trying to tell a unique story, and I had to do it maximum justice to make sure that I said it effectively. So I had no apprehension about that—that I had to fit into any kind of landscape. Through the entire journey of Kaala, our motive was to be consistent and headstrong with his character. I had to be consistent and headstrong about how I made sure that all the characters fit correctly into that jigsaw piece. So that's all I'm focused on."
Prolific year for Bejoy Nambiar
This year itself, Bejoy has been a part of three different projects, including being an assistant director on Ponniyin Selvan, the episode director for Sweet Kaaram Coffee, and now as the creator and helmer for Kaala. When asked how this year has been for him, the filmmaker revealed, "Whatever you're seeing now is like an aftereffect of the last two or three years of work, be it Ponniyin Selvan, Sweet Kaaram Coffee, or Kaala. I had another project as well. So for the last three or four years, since the time I thought COVID-19 just got over, I've been just working. This year has been the year of releases. So this is like my third release after Ponniyin Selvan and Sweet Kaaram Coffee. So I'm actually just going one by one, and I'm glad it's spaced out a bit. So I had time to process each release. I'm enjoying that phase of just getting feedback and seeing how the audience is reacting to each one of these projects. Now again, I'm curious and waiting to see how the audience reacts to Kaala. But that's personal for me."
OTT landscape in 2023
Talking about OTT content in 2023, the Shaitan director added, "But other than that, I think the OTT space this year has been quite phenomenal in terms of the kind of shows that you've seen and the kind of original films you've seen. So every year, I think we, as filmmakers, as creators, and as actors, have seen a consistent growth in the kind of content that we are consuming. So it's been a very interesting year for OTT."
No saturation on OTT
While justifying how there's no saturation point in content consumption on OTT, Bejoy went on to say, "There is a lot of content out there; there is a crazy amount of content coming, but only the good ones will stick out. Only the content that really sticks with the audience speaks to the audience. There will be some kind of filtration that happens. So I don't think there's any saturation level if you see the same kind of stories being dished out, but I'm pretty sure all platforms are also looking at diversifying and doing all kinds of content. So I don't see that saturation."