OTT finds a hit formula in anthology films and shows

By Yashika Mathur
New Delhi, June 27 (IANS)
Storytellers on OTT have struck gold with anthology films and shows. While the genre is not altogether new, it seems to increasingly find favour for more than one reason. For one, it lets makers of OTT shows and films pack in more, in terms of actors. More importantly, the audience gets more than one flavour of storytelling thanks to the multitude of stories that are mostly directed by different directors, hence bringing in varied styles.
Over the past few year, we have had anthologies such “Ludo”, “Unpaused”, “Ajeeb Dastaans” and “Ray” in Hindi. Thanks to the fact that OTT provides unrestricted viewing to all audiences across the nation and the globe, regional anthology films such as “Putham Pudu Kaalai” and “Paava Kadhaigal” (both Tamil) have also managed to draw attention beyond the home state.
“Everyone makes a normal routine film but anthology is difficult and challenging. The taste of the audience has evolved and they are exposed to international shows. Earlier it was tried with ‘Dus Kahaniyaan’ but audience back then didn’t understand the concept. Now, cinema-making and cinema consumption has changed. Every generation has its taste. Earlier social, action and romantic films worked. This is a new format the audience is enjoying,” trade analyst Atul Mohan tells IANS.
From the perspective of a film maker, while one may feel that bringing multiple creative storytellers can be challenging, Srijit Mukherji has his take. Mukherji, who has directed two of the four stories in “Ray”, talks of whether individual treatment of a filmmaker gets affected, knowing there are two more stories clubbed with his film, directed by two others.
“It would have (been affected) if I would have known what others are treating their films like. Fortunately, here, Sayantan Mukherjee, who is the show runner of ‘Ray’, didn’t let anyone know what the other director is making. He had the overall picture on how four films were shaping up. There was no one way that one guy’s film would affect the other’s,” says Mukherji.
Actor Chandan Roy Sanyal, who was impressive in Vasan Bala’s segment “Spotlight” in the anthology “Ray”, explains what about the format of anthology attracts him as an actor.
“What attracts me in an anthology is that you can tell four different stories on one topic and every actor and director has a different interpretation. You are watching the same thing on love, lust or horror and everyone has their own take on it. It’s lovely to see everyone have their own version. The soul is the same but storytelling and treatment are different,” says Chandan.
With the ready acceptance recent anthologies have seen, ne sure there will be many lined up over the next months. A new one, “Feels Like Ishq” helmed by six directors, was been announced a few days back. The film will star Radhika Madan, Amol Parashar, Neeraj Madhav, Tanya Maniktala, Kajol Chug, Mihir Ahuja, Simran Jehani, Rohit Saraf, Saba Azad, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, Zayn Khan and Skand Thakur.

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