Richa Chadha: Policymakers should be mindful; bring down ticket costs, so cinema doesn’t become a novelty
With hardly any releases in theatres last year, the OTT space churned out some spectacular content and now, while there’s more to expect, there are also a number of movie releases lined up in theatres. Richa Chadha’s Madam Chief Minister released in theatres this year and she has also been appreciated for her digital projects- Unpaused, and Lahore Confidential.
When asked whether OTT platforms and movies, while having to co-exist, could eat into each other’s share, she says, “There is no box office pressure on OTT, but as it exists in cinemas, makers feel the need to include songs, action sequences etc for a good opening. Moreover, I feel, several directors, who when they get proper backing from an OTT platform, like Sudhir Mishra in Serious Men, are able to blossom and perform better. Whereas they could have be frauded or their creativity could be compromised in a theatrical as they to deal with all kinds of financers etc. I feel like a lot of directors tend to blossom on the OTT.”
Interestingly, Chadha is one of the first few actors to tap into the extraordinary potential in the content of OTT platforms with her show, Inside Edge. Since then, she has done several digital projects, is currently shooting for Candy co-starring Ronit Roy and has web series Six Suspects and Inside Edge 3 lined up.
The actor doesn’t believe in looking at scenario as OTT vs movies, because these are two separate mediums. “The big cinema experience is unmatched and a film releasing on 35mm stands a chance at competing for National awards and film festivals, hence a lot of directors prefer that. But times are changing and I hope that the industry and the government gives a better impetus to the film industry by reducing either the taxes on ticket prices to give a boost to the industry because cinema chains have really suffered last year due to the lockdown. Of course, these are extraordinary circumstances and people are scared to step out of their homes and into a theatre. I get that. But when things start getting better, people won’t choose to confine themselves into their homes. However, policymakers should be mindful that they should bring down ticket costs so that more and more people can watch the film, and cinema doesn’t become such a novelty, especially in these times,” she states.