Anubhav Sinha says watching films on OTT is like 'having coffee and not smelling it'
Anubhav Sinha believes that audiences decide beforehand what films to see on OTT vs theatres. He feels they don't give smaller films a chance in theatres.
Since 2018, Anubhav Sinha has changed the films he directed and produced. He was known for directing music videos and more commercial mainstream productions beforehand. But with the arrival of OTT in past few years, the filmmaker feels that the audience already decides what films are for the theatres and which are meant to be watched via streaming. He feels that they don't give the smaller films a chance in the theatres. (Also read: Anubhav Sinha says Bheed has received so much love and adulation but there's nobody in theatres)
Anubhav also produced Hansal Mehta's Faraaz which was based on a real-life incident of a terrorist attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The film starring Aditya Rawal and Zahan Kapoor released in limited theatres and is now available on Netflix. Most of the films that have worked at the box office in the past few years have been big-scale entertainers like KGF, Pushpa and Pathaan. The filmmaker is also producing Sudhir Mishra's Afwaah this year which deals with the perils of misinformation in India today.
Speaking to Mid-day, the director shared his disappointed with viewers not backing smaller films. He said, “While one seeks approval from the audience, one also wants the audience to identify a good film and back it. One is disappointed when they don’t go and watch a film like Faraaz, which was about youngsters and got great reviews. They need to explore newer kinds of films. It has become a convenient discussion that some films are made for OTT, and some for theatre. Watching a film on OTT is like having coffee, and not smelling it. In theatres, you can [fully experience] a movie.”
Recently, the director also spoke about the bizarre reaction to his latest film Bheed. He shared that while he received much love and respect from audiences in the form of reviews of WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms. But that did not translate into audiences in theatres, leading to is poor box office.
Bheed, which was filmed in black and white, starred Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar, Pankaj Kapur, Dia Mirza, Ashutosh Rana and Kritika Kamra amongst others. It was written by Anubhav, Saumya Tiwari and Sonali Jain and is a fictionalised account of the migrant workers' crisis in 2020 during the initial COVID-19 lockdown.