The Future of Filmmaking, as Told by SonyLIV
If this is the future of digital storytelling, we’re very excited
It has never been a better time to be a filmmaker in India. A new crop of directors and producers are creating edgy and interesting content, and platforms like SonyLIV are providing a home for these stories.
SonyLIV, in fact, has just released two short films on 22nd June, 2017. The first film 'Papa We Love You Too' revolves around a character Vikas, portrayed by Jimmy Shergill who is a 40-year-old single parent. A workaholic, his life is centred around his professional achievements and materialistic acquisitions, eventually weakening his bond with his 8-year-old son. 'The Gift', on the other hand, is an edgy thriller that describes the complexities of contemporary relationships, with actors Kushal Punjabi, Gul Panag and Mandira Bedi portraying lead roles.
The films were released at a press conference hosted by SonyLIV at the Four Seasons, Mumbai. The conference was followed by a panel discussion where the two filmmakers Kabir Sadanand and Kushal Punjabi with EVP and Head-Digital Business, SonyLIV - Uday Sodi, and actors Mandira Bedi and Arya Sadanand discussed the emerging trends in digital storytelling.
The panel was in agreement that digital films had democratized filmmaking. And short films, especially, were an interesting format of storytelling. Now anyone with a phone camera could make a film and release it on a digital platform like SonyLIV if the content was compelling enough. Filmmakers too won’t have to worry about distribution or casting actors on the basis of their ‘star power’ in their films.
Kabir Sadanand, director of ‘Papa, we love you too’, who previously directed 'Married Woman Diaries’ for SonyLIV, believed that SonyLIV was a good platform for new filmmakers, “I think what SonyLIV is doing with its short film is a mirror to society. They want to do films which will be interesting and they don't want to keep the duration long. So their ideology is absolutely bang on. For me, I feel SonyLIV is a platform today for new filmmakers to tell a story. It's a great place.”
Kushal Punjabi who directed ‘The Gift’, and who had previously starred in the SonyLIV show ‘#LoveBytes’, marveled at the ease with which the film was made, “…They were so welcoming, they were so open to ideas. Of course they wanted to go through the script and everything but what I am saying is that I could have never approached television because it's just not my sensibility. And making a full-length feature, it's tough. It's tough for someone who is new because there is a lot at stake and I didn't have a star with me. So I enter this space and SonyLIV was fantastic. They were so open even though the subject was about a volatile relationship, but I said this is what I want to make. Not once did they tell me change. Not a scene, not a dialogue, not a moment. So it was my own responsibility then to give them a film that I could be proud of…that they could be proud of. So I thank them a lot for giving me this opportunity.”
SonyLIV in particular was a pioneer in the digital entertainment space, and was the first to create a web series in India, and now hosts more than 500 short films on the platform which could be accessed by a website or an app. Its vision for its content is to tell stories on topics that impact our generation. According to Uday Sodi, “The key differentiator of SonyLIV versus other digital players is our ability to constantly provide content that mirrors trends in society. In the category of short films alone, we have a library of more than 500 originals. These films echo our sustained efforts at providing our audiences with original, unique and thought-provoking content that resonates long after its runtime is over.”
Mandira Bedi too, wholeheartedly agreed with this, and spoke warmly about her past work with Sony. She said, “I have a very close connect with Sony for many years because of my association with cricket. Sony MAX and I, we have a history. So it's really nice that the first big short film that I am doing is on a platform like SonyLIV and I’m very excited. I’m sure a good script and a nicely made film like this will get its due on SonyLIV.”
We hope to see many more films like these on SonyLIV in the future. If this is the future of digital storytelling, we’re very excited.
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