Alankrita Shrivastava: Scope and hope for OTT and theatres to co-exist

Written by A. Kameshwari
| New Delhi |

Published: May 20, 2020 1:30:54 pm

Songs Lyrics 4 You
Alankrita Shrivastava on Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte SitareFilmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava’s next is Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. (Photo: Komal Gandhi)

Filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava recently went LIVE on The Indian ExpressFacebook page and spoke about her next release Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. She also spoke about the ongoing debate of films releasing directly on streaming platforms.

Here are the excerpts:Songs Lyrics 4 You

Do you think ‘shoot from home’ can become a viable option in the coming days?

I think it is a great thing to do amid the pandemic but it is not a longterm solution. It is interesting to do at this time asa new form of expressions and stories will emerge from the kind of circumstances we are living in but it won’t replace the regular shooting scenario.

What is your take on filmmakers opting for direct OTT releases?

Everything changes with time. Before OTT became big, it felt like it was not the right thing to do to release films directly on it. Now, viewing habits are changing and due to the crisis, there is no other option. So, I think at this hour, it is a good option to release the films on the OTT platform. I also feel OTT is a space that is democratic and open to newer talent. It is hard to find distribution in theatrical space for newcomers. So, in that sense, OTT space is a medium where we can show our work.

Of course, there is something magical about watching films in the theatre. The experience cannot be replicated. So, I hope we go back to watching movies at the theatres after the pandemic gets over. For now, out of choice and economical considerations, a lot of films will release on the OTT platforms. Also, cinema doesn’t become any less if it is watched on a smaller screen. There’s scope and hope for OTT and theatres to co-exist.

How much has the lockdown affected the production of Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare?

Fortunately, the shooting and editing is complete. A bit of post-production is pending. I also worked on a Netflix series, which was shot before the pandemic. So, there is nothing in the middle of the production.

Will you consider Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’s release on OTT platform?

The answer lies with the producers of the film. They will take the best call. I just want the film to reach to the audience.

You have worked with Konkona Sensharma. Is it easier to work with actors who have directorial experience?

I love working with Konkona. She is the finest actor. I am blessed to have worked with her twice. We are also close friends. She had not yet directed her film back when we worked on Lipstick Under My Burkha. But she had the directorial experience when she came on the sets of Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. She doesn’t try to be a director on my set. She comes like an actor. Because her mother was a filmmaker too, she understands the difficulty of making an independent film. I really cherish and consider it as the most wonderful collaboration. We have just gotten closer from one film to another.

Lipstick Under My Burkha started many conversations. Will Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare follow suit?

I would not compare my films. Lipstick was just a small story of four ordinary women. I did not know the cultural and social impact the story would have. It acquired a life of its own, which is rare. Every film is unique. As they say, no two children are the same and each one of them has their own personality and destination. So, the love I feel for my films is equal but what happens to them (after release) is not in my hands.

I hope Dolly Kitty find its own audience. I have put my blood, soul and hard work. It was well-received in festivals it screened at but the rest is on the audience.

Do you think more efforts need to be put in to promote small scale films?

Small films end up suffering because you don’t have the same sort of promotional or marketing plans. One needs to go as far as they can to make people aware of the film else small films will vanish.

A section of the audience associates you with strong-female led projects. Is that fine with you or you want to break that mould?

It is strange. People tell me I am boxed in a category but no one asks these questions to Rohit Shetty for making films led by men or for that matter any male director. For decades, cinema was about men and by men. Women had no role to play or were not even taking the story forward. Women played such stereotypical characters. Either they were pious or vixens. The whole universe of women has not been explored. There is so much to explore in women’s life. It is my passion for telling their stories because they have something to bring to the table. I don’t have an issue with being labelled but it is not fair because as a woman, we are free to tell stories that we want. Like we don’t ask men, we should not ask women.

How do you find your stories?

I think the story has to come to me. I feel like I have my radar on and the story just comes. I don’t look for stories. The story of Dolly Kitty came to me before Lipstick… It has a lot to do with the theme of small-town people coming to the big cities and trying to make it big. It was a slightly different take on the idea that freedom comes with a price.

Any actor on your wish list?

I am dying to work with Tabu. I hope I have a script with a character that she likes.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App.

© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd