The unexpected lockdown and its extension have now started to worry, curators of the film festival, theatres, whose earning depended on organising events for cinephiles. While some of them have involved themselves in part-time jobs, as freelance journalists, writers, scriptwriters, public relations, others have started living off their savings. But with the complete shutdown, most of them are unable to find enough sources of income with which they could pay off their rent. For most of them, film festivals are their bread and butter.
As a curator or programmer to source, initially select the films, coordination with the actors, filmmakers, producers, production companies on behalf of the festivals," said Santanu Ganguly, a curator who has worked on various assignments for IFFI which takes place in Goa, film festivals in Bengaluru. He has also organised events in Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Canada.
Before the pandemic, most of them relied on such festivals for their maximum income. Mostly all the Film Festivals are annual events and they have their fixed time and schedule. This was a normal practice. On average, there used to be allotted work for five to six different film festivals throughout the year.
How the direct OTT release has affected their income
Almost every company such as Netflix, Sony, Short TV, TVF, etc. before releasing the film on OTT platform they arrange a premiere show for the cast and crews as well as a very limited selected audience, it is sort of very private screening on the big screen for members of the film fraternity and cinephiles. For that, curators would arrange the permission from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. But presently arts, culture, sports have all become the last priority.
While most of them are aware that the lockdown had been called for the benefit of everyone in the later future, their financial security is also at stake.
"I am completely depending on my small savings. The matter of fact is, we're also working in an unauthorized sector, we don't have any fixed salaries, knowing that fact, there are many, those who cheat us right left and centre. Many people don't honour their commitment after we professionally complete the given job. Only government and foreign organizations are exceptions. We have assured payment from them," said Santanu.
Why they support the statement of INOX and PVR.
Most of the organisers wholeheartedly support Inox and PVR for expressing their displeasure for the release of the film made in theatres directly n OTT. Though they charge quite the amount in their ticket prices and for their popcorns it is necessary to understand, that because of these multiplex with their super quality technology of films and sound, the luxurious ambience, the TV watching audiences actually returned to big screen.
The rise of OTT has given a platform to various talents but the illusion of big screen will definitely give you unmatchable experience.