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OTT will be dead if there’s censorship

National Award-winning actor Manoj Bajpayee, attending the 29th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), asserted that censorship on digital media would mean the demise of OTT platforms.

“OTT will be dead if there’s censorship,” said the ‘Satya’ actor, who was at KIFF on Monday for his masterclass session on acting. Reflecting on the early days of OTT in India, he said: “In the beginning of OTT in India, people went completely rouge with their making. They didn’t know what to do with that kind of freedom. So, almost every series in the beginning of OTT had abusive language, sex and violence. Now, the makers are more responsible in storytelling.”

Bajpayee has become an undisputed king of OTT with releases like ‘Bhonsle’, ‘Mrs. Serial Killer’, ‘The Family Man’, ‘Ray’, ‘Gulmohar’ and ‘Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai’. He highlighted the democratising effect of OTT on the film industry, fostering the emergence of new talents. Expressing his appreciation for regional content, he said: “I watch good Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, and Tamil films that matter to me on OTT. I am a fan of mainstream films but sadly mainstream films have not been making great films now. Thanks to OTT, we are getting a chance to watch all the films we missed out on,” said Bajpayee, who recently teamed up with director Devashish Makhija for his third film ‘Joram’.

In light of the controversy surrounding the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer ‘Animal,’ Bajpayee said the choice to watch a film rests with the audience. “If we want this democracy to thrive, we can’t ask anyone not to make a certain kind of cinema. That particular director is looking at the story in that manner, let him express himself. Then, there’s a film like ‘Joram’, where women are celebrated. So, there has to be space for everyone. I’ve always believed that if movies truly influenced society, our world would be a heaven by now. Many films carry powerful messages, celebrating women and emphasising family values. However, I question whether these positive portrayals in cinema have actually brought about any significant change in society,” he said. MillenniumPost

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