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Assamese film industry struggles to create OTT buzz

The Assamese film industry, also known as Jollywood, is in dire need of popularising the Over The Top (OTT) platforms dedicated to Assamese content, especially the award winning films. Recently, the industry has gained popularity for producing many award-winning films like Village Rockstars, Bulbul Can Sing, Maj Ratir Keteki and many more. In cognizance to this, there lies an endearing need to bring Assamese content to OTT platforms dedicated to this industry so that these masterpieces are available to the audience in a synchronized manner. Globally, OTT is shaping the post pandemic entertainment world. As such, Jollywood ought to uplift their existing versions of OTT platforms for viewers to experience better streaming.

Renowned actress Prastuti Parashar imparts her view on the subject and says, “I feel we need an exclusive OTT platform for the award-winning movies. They go out of the viewer’s sight once they are out of the multiplexes. So, we need an OTT platform to keep a track on them and to propagate the movies to a global audience.” There are certain applications available in web stores for the Assamese content enthusiasts but they have failed to reach the eye of the audience.

People remain unaware of the existing platforms and the ones under construction due to lack of buzz. Cinematographer Prayash Sharma Tamuly says, “I feel the publicity of the existing OTT platforms that feature Assamese content is not great enough to acquire the entire audience.We require good production value and content in the existing OTT platforms, which can grab the attention of a larger audience.” OTT platforms require more Research and Development (RND), and production value.Being confined to the northeastern states, they have a very small subscription base compared to national or international platforms even though the platforms are in need to pave their way into success. “Better content would make people happy and pleased about subscribing to them and watching them.

Overall, OTT platforms exist in Assam but it definitely needs a push.” Tamuly told G Plus. However, Prayash’s views contest the idea of one accumulative platform. “I feel one accumulative platform is a distant possibility because it’s a private industry, and there exists competition. Wishing for one platform is a great thing, but practically that might not be possible so better content and better survival should be the main focus,” he added. The industry has faced multiple adversities since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

It was one of the first industries to be shut down as early as March 2020, and was one of the last to reopen in November 2020. In April 2021, the industry was asked to stall major activities which have affected many people engaged in the filmmaking business. The rise of OTT platforms will also ensure abundant employment to background crew members who have been struggling since the onset of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Freelance Costume designer, Uddipta Goswami, expressed his view on this and said, “It has been long enough that proper commercial movies have not been made. If OTT platforms take over the entertainment market, we might get more projects to work on.” OTT platforms will also ensure spread of the Assamese content to remote areas where multiplexes might not be available and prove to be the extraordinary aspect that will bring revival to the COVID affected industry. Guwahati Plus

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