Apoorva Bakshi, Raj & DK, Sudip Sharma, Sujoy Ghosh and Vishal Bhardwaj come together for the Jio MAMI panel on seminal storytelling, moderated by RJ Rohini Ramanathan
Mumbai, 31st October, 2023 Netflix India in collaboration with Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2023, hosted a stimulating panel, ‘Seminal Storytellers in Streaming 2023’ with 5 influential filmmakers who have created some of the most celebrated content of the year in the world of streaming. The panel which was moderated by RJ Rohini Ramanathan, was brought to life by these filmmakers; Apoorva Bakshi for ‘The Hunt for Veerappan’, Raj & DK for ‘Guns and Gulaabs’, Sudip Sharma for ‘Kohraa’, Sujoy Ghosh for ‘Jaane Jaan’ and Vishal Bhardwaj for ‘Khufiya’. This panel discussion was a significant addition to the festival’s lineup, further solidifying its commitment to exploring and celebrating the ever-evolving landscape of cinematic narratives, with Netflix as their canvas.
The discussion delved into the nuances of storytelling in the streaming era, emphasizing the impact, challenges, that come with creating content for a global streaming audience. Through their diverse experiences and perspectives, the panelists shed light on unique storytelling ethos, resonating with audiences both in India and around the globe. They further discussed the changing dynamics of storytelling, the influence of streaming platforms, the opportunities that streaming platforms provide to bring local stories to the forefront , and the future of this evolving medium.
Anupama Chopra on the unique stories that streaming platforms have brought to us said, “Streaming platforms have been instrumental in nurturing audiences and showcasing stories that otherwise might find it difficult to reach a larger audience. Netflix is one such platform that has not only reimagined how we watch but has also made the stories inclusive. We are delighted to have the Netflix Seminal Storytellers of Streaming, 2023 panel at Jio MAMI with filmmakers and creators who have brought some extraordinary stories to us”
Apoorva Bakshi on the making of the docu-series ‘Hunt For Veerappan’, “There were so many aspects of Veerappan’s fractured psyche that were not known to people beyond a certain region. Our teams researched extensively, captured over 240 hours of footage and took a lot of care to build a portrayal of the life of a man from the lens of those close to him, and those involved in the manhunt. There was a perception about this complex personality. Through the docu-series, we wanted to offer viewers a well-rounded, unbiased view of the story so that they could form their own perspective; and that’s what streaming and Netflix made possible.”
Raj & DK on giving back to back hits on streaming, “When we started writing our first series, we were practically reinventing the wheel because we had no idea where to start. We were in fact looking up online as to what a bible is or how to design an episode etc. We slowly realized that we should come up with our own process to create a series. We also observed that the kind of story we were trying to tell was dictating the length and structure of the series. As you can see from the various shows we have done, each time the approach kind of varied. And by the time we got to Guns & Gulaabs, we were having more fun and free-wheeling with the structure and shape of the series. One example would be the last episode. We turned it into a “feature film” with an intermission built-in. This is the beauty of streaming, it gives you the freedom to experiment with formats and the art of storytelling.”
Sudip Sharma on streaming platforms bringing local stories to audiences said; “A great character is one that audiences can empathize with and understand its motivations. As a creator, you need to be convinced about your characters before taking them into the world. When working on Kohrra, language was a key marker for authentic storytelling. Since the series is based in a small town in Punjab, Punjabi was the only language I imagined the series to be in. The advantage of working in streaming and with Netflix is the freedom it provides to create stories in a language that feels organic to the story, while also giving audience the power of choice when it comes to watching it in a language of their preference through dubs.”
Sujoy Ghosh sharing his thoughts on creating content for streaming platforms said; “When I read Devotion of Suspect X, I knew this was the love story I wanted to make and all it took was the script to bring Kareena on board as well. I truly believe that for any actor today, if given a good script they will make sure to give it their all, no matter the medium; theaters or streaming platforms. ”
Vishal Bhardwaj on craft of storytelling in the streaming era said; “One of the major advantages of working with streaming platforms like Netflix is that they enable us to experiment. Khufiya had been my passion project and in the works for quite some time, however to bring this to life it required someone who could grasp the nuance and pace of the story, and with Netflix I got just that support”.
This distinguished panel discussion aligned with the festival’s dedication to showcasing innovative and thought-provoking content, opening the floor for insightful discussions on the future of storytelling in the streaming landscape.
The panel; Seminal Storytellers in Streaming took place at Maison PVR at Jio World Drive on 30th October at 8pm
Netflix is one of the world’s leading entertainment services with over 247 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, films and games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can play, pause and resume watching as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, and can change their plans at any time.
About Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival:
Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), has brought the best of contemporary world cinema and talent to the city of Mumbai since 1997. With its new expanded vision to spotlight South Asian and South Asian diaspora filmmakers, Jio MAMI becomes the Hub for South Asia, discovering and connecting emerging talent to the worldwide festival ecosystem.Along with celebrating cinematic excellence and bringing joy to our audiences, we aim to facilitate the exchange of ideas and provide easy access to information related to filmmaking, funding, film distribution, business opportunities, and strategic marketing support for films and filmmakers. The festival also conducts a robust Year Round Programme that acts as a hub for creators and cinephiles through screenings, networking opportunities, access to labs and workshops for skill development, masterclasses, and, very importantly, creating a community of cinema lovers.
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