OTT Platforms Debut at IFFI with Screenings, Masterclasses

Panaji: The Netflix original ‘Dhamaka’, starring Kartik Aryan and Mrunal Thakur, will be screened here at the 52nd edition of the International Film Festival of India, where OTT platforms are making their debut.

Also on the programme are two masterclasses presented by Amazon’s Prime Video OTT platform, featuring its much-acclaimed series ‘The Family Man’, where Manoj Bajpayee, who’ll participate virtually, plays the lead role, and its epic original production, ‘Sardar Udham’ — the film’s director Shoojit Sircar will preside over this session.

Netflix, meanwhile, will be offering a sneak peek of ‘Aranyak’, an upcoming crime thriller series starring Raveena Tandon. The actress, reacting to this news, said: “IFFI is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia and a platform that celebrates the excellence of cinema from all over the world.”

Welcoming the guests and the delegates at the inaugural ceremony, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Apurva Chandra said that the participation of the OTTs would become a regular feature at future editions of IFFI.

Describing the festival as a “celebration of good films from all over the world and India at one location for nine days”, Chandra said that what it showed was that “we stood up to the challenge of Covid-19”.

Pointing out that this edition of IFFI had received 624 entries from 96 countries, compared with 69 nations in 2020, the I&B Secretary said it showed that this festival was bigger than the one that took place last year, despite the pandemic.

Chandra said the Indian Panorama section will feature 44 films in 18 languages, including one in Dimasa, a dialect not even listed in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution. Among the Indian Panorama films, 12 are having their world premiere at the festival. Of the international films lined up, 64 are being screened in India for the first time.

Among the other firsts recounted by the I&B Secretary, he said a BRICS film festival was taking place on the sidelines.

Stating that the country was celebrating the 75th year of Independence and Goa its 60th year of liberation, Chandra informed the gathering that 1.16 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered in just six months, which had enabled people to gather and celebrate functions such as this.

“Life is returning to normal and we are here to celebrate it,” Chandra said, inviting the connoisseurs of films and filmmaking to immerse themselves in the best that the world had to offer.


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