In a bid to support small films and ensure that good content reaches a wider audience, the Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC) is planning to launch an over-the-top platform, the corporation’s chairperson Shaji N Karun told Silverscreen India.
He also noted that they are planning to revamp the Chitranjali studio, the film production studio set up by the KSFDC in 1980.
KSFDC was founded by the government of Kerala in 1975 with an aim to establish a home ground for the production of Malayalam films in Kerala as the industry was earlier based in Madras (Chennai).
In conversation with Silverscreen India, Shaji clarified that KSFDC’s aim in starting an OTT platform is not to compete with established streaming giants, but rather cultural intervention. “There is a lot of good content and small films that could get better viewership with the help of this platform. Instead of focusing on revenue generation, the project’s purpose is to support small budget films and budding filmmakers. Besides, KSFDC will also provide subsidy schemes and incentives that will help filmmakers in the development of parallel cinema.”
“In addition, films produced in collaboration with Chitranjali will have screenings in the theatres run by the KSFDC. Following this, they will be made available on our OTT platform,” Shaji said, adding that films not produced in Chitranjali will also be streamed on the platform.
KSFDC currently has 17 screens across Kerala and is planning add more than 30 screens in a couple of years, according to Shaji.
In June, Kerala’s Minister for Cultural Affairs, Saji Cherian announced that the state-run platform will promote smaller films and Rs 150 crore has been allocated for equipping the facilities in Chitranjali studio and also developing it into a post-production hub, according to a report in The Hindu.
“In the current COVID-19 situation, an OTT platform under the government’s control is important to help small budget films too to find an audience. Big budget films, which have already had a theatrical run, can also stream on this platform,” the minister had said.
Shaji said that they are hoping to launch the OTT platform in November but it is not finalised yet.