KOCHI: The Covid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to many things—education, healthcare and entertainment. An accelerated digital transformation which was stimulated by the need for social distancing, is slowly replacing movie theatres with streaming platforms. While the representation of regional movies on popular platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar used to be minimum, the pandemic has forced many filmmakers to release their movies exclusively on streaming platforms. This has also urged major content creators from south India to pitch in.
‘Sainaplay’ joins the bandwagon
‘Saina’ is not an unfamiliar name for Malayalis. In the ’90s and early 2000s, before YouTube began catering tour content requirements, Saina was a major movie and music distributor for almost 35 years. Now, the company has launched a digital platform named ‘Sainaplay’, an OTT app that offers more than 200 Malayalam films in HD quality free of cost. The app is already available on Google Play.
The company is also evolving as a production house for digital-savvy content like web series and chat shows. “My dream is to introduce an OTT platform that exclusively provides regional content. Such content and their creators rarely get an opportunity to come to the limelight. Sainaplay will give them an opportunity,” says Aashiq Bava, the executive director of the company. Saina is also planning to distribute video/audio content to major content platforms.
Blue Ocean to source more quality content
Blue Ocean, a business facilitation service and Anand Kumar Productions Pvt Ltd are coming together to facilitate more representation for south Indian movies on digital platforms. According to Bency George, founder and chairman of Blue Ocean Business Consultancy, a unique digital branding content initiative is in the pipeline. “The initiative will facilitate streaming of exclusive South Indian movies, short films and web series on video streaming platforms,” he said.
“We are extremely proud to have Anand Kumar Productions (AKPPL) on-board. We plan on sourcing unreleased movies and web series, with unique storyline and outstanding star cast, for digital release in India and abroad,” said Bency. “Digital content is the new trend and is making inroads into the lives of audiences at an unexpected pace,” says producer-director Anand.
He is positive that the venture will open up new avenues for the South Indian movie sector. “Even though Mumbai is the hub of over-the-top (OTT) platforms, they are not in a position to source good quality South Indian content, especially Malayalam movies and web series,” adds Bency. The duo now has 10 unreleased movies ready for release on OTT platforms. The list includes films like ‘Kolambi’, which has already won three awards. “We also have around five web series and three short films lined up,” said Anand.