Kannada filmmaker Prithvi Konanur suggested that the growing inclination of streaming platforms towards blockbuster movies is further adding to the agony of small-budget films.
Kannada director Prithvi Konanur is one of the most talented contemporary filmmakers in India. However, he hasn't yet received the success and recognition that he so deserves. While his films are a big hit at film festivals around the world, there are very few takers for them at the box office in India. As a result and mainly due to the lack of funds for promotions, Prithvi Konanur's excellent films fail to reach a wider audience.
Prithvi once again highlighted the critical responsibility of the OTT platforms in taking such films to larger audiences. He rued about the limited venues to showcase his films both at the box office and on streaming platforms.
"A few years ago, OTTs were opened to films like this. Especially when it comes to Kannada films, there is a slight disconnect between OTTs and the audiences. The kind of films that they are picking either are big-budget commercial successes or are star-backed films," said Prithvi during a roundtable discussion on Galatta Plus.
He suggested that the growing inclination of streaming platforms towards blockbuster movies is further adding to the agony of small-budget films. Unlike big-budget movies, artistic films made on shoestring budgets can't afford marketing expenses, failing to create awareness among the public. And when such films receive poor response at the box office, the OTTs also turn their back on them assuming they won't resonate with the streaming audiences. And Prithvi strongly disagrees with this theory.
"I am not really sure that the audience who choose to watch films on OTTs are looking for content like that (big blockbusters). They are looking for actual content. Not necessary for star-backed or commercial films. But, OTTs do not welcome such films in Kannada," he rued.
Prithvi, however, is determined to change that by building grassroots momentum for his new film Seventeeners, titled Hadhinelentu in Kannada. The film will be released along with Koli Esru, another festival darling, as a double feature soon. Prithvi has kick-started a crowd-funding to create awareness about these films. People who contribute to this fund, which will allow the filmmakers to give these films a good marketing push, will in return get tickets.
"I see a ray of hope in this. We have already started gathering some traction. It's reaching people," added Prithvi.
Prithvi hopes that if he manages to bring a bigger crowd to cinemas to watch Hadhinelentu and Koli Esru, he can also convince the OTT platforms to buy these films.
Prithvi is also known for Pinki Elli? and Railway Children.