Kannada films are waiting for OTTs to open doors for them: Rishab Shetty

PTI, Nov 28, 2023, 5:19 PM IST

Credit: X / @IFFIGoa

Panaji: Renowned film director Rishab Shetty said Kannada cinema is waiting for the OTT platform to open their doors.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here on Tuesday, Shetty said Kannada movies used to generate revenue after participating in initiatives like NFDC Film Bazaar.

”But after the COVID19 pandemic and due to the OTT platforms, the markets have collapsed. The OTT platforms are refusing to accept Kannada films because one commercial film (from Kannada) backfired,” the ”Kantara” actor-director said.

”Now, the OTT platforms are saying that they are not open for Kannada films. That is really bad. Just because of one film, you cannot say that there is no market for the film or there are no subscribers,” he added.

Shetty said he has done three films in Kannada, which are doing festival circuits.

”OTTs are saying that they will take time to accept Kannada films. We are waiting for their doors to open,” he said.

Shetty claimed that if OTT platforms do not open the doors, then these would be the last films that he has done for any festival circuits.

Shetty received critical acclaim for writing, directing and starring in ”Kantara”, a Kannada period action thriller that was released in 2022.

The movie, which is being screened at the IFFI as part of the international competition, is set in the fictional village of Dakshina Kannada and follows a Kambala champion, played by Shetty, who comes to loggerheads with an upright Forest Range officer, Murali.

He is now looking forward to ”Kantara: Chapter 1”, the prequel to the blockbuster hit. The makers unveiled the first look of the movie on Thursday.

Shetty said filmmakers often talk at length about their movie projects.

”But for Kantara: Chapter 1, I don’t want to talk, people should talk about it. Our concentration should be on the work,” he said.

The actor-director said that his film competing with other international feature films is “most proud moment” which was possible due to the support that was received for the film.

“We are now producing ‘Kantara: Chapter 1’. We released a poster of it and we got a good response for that,” he said.

Shetty said that the idea of producing a prequel to ”Kantara” was there during shooting of the original film but the decision was taken after it became a hit.

In the entire journey of ”Kantara”, the community performing Kola rituals was with him, he added.

“The film is based on our belief system. My family performs the ritual and we believe in it. I have seen people mocking the ritual by performing it on the stage. The community gets hurt because of that. I request people not to hurt the community,” Shetty said.

He said that he never faced a language barrier for ”Kantara”. “When content is good then the people accept it,” Shetty added.

Post ”Kantara”, the actor-director said he received several offers from non-Kannada filmmakers.

I was a fan of some of them. But I refused them. I don’t want to leave the Kannada film industry. I am always grateful to the Kannada audience,” Shetty said.

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