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Monday, June 01, 2020

Hansal Mehta: I find OTT platforms liberating

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta on keeping himself busy during the lockdown, and films releasing directly on OTT platforms.

Written by A. Kameshwari | New Delhi | Updated: May 13, 2020 7:03:55 pm
hansal mehta on OTT platforms Director Hansal Mehta’s next is Chhalaang, starring Rajkummar Rao in the lead role. (Photo: Hansal Mehta/Instagram)

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta is quite busy during the lockdown. During a recent Facebook LIVE with The Indian Express, Mehta shared that he is currently re-writing one of his film’s scripts. He also revealed that he is penning a story for Anubhav Sinha and Ekta Kapoor too.

Here are excerpts from the conversation:

How are you spending time during the lockdown?

This lockdown has allowed me to rewind, re-energise and look at my own work. There was a lot of pending work that I had to finish. Initially, I thought I would write three scripts but that did not happen. I have an inspiring influence at home – my wife. I see her working from 9 to 6 every day.

One script that I had written, I revised its draft. I am developing one more script for Anubhav Sinha. I have completed the first draft of it. There is also one script for Ekta Kapoor. We have the story ready. So, it has been a busy time.

Do you think you will make a film on coronavirus?

Coronavirus is one big historical event of our lifetime. An entire generation will find stories out of this major crisis. In fact, the world will. Once the vaccine is discovered, there will be stories of love, despair, separation and much more. There will be some heartbreaking and heartwarming stories.

What is your take on films directly releasing on OTT platforms? Is it a way forward for Bollywood?

It is too early to say that. There are films which are made for the big screen. Talking about the OTT platform, I saw 6 Underground on Netflix. It has a senseless script but it had phenomenal action pieces. I can watch it over and over again. I enjoyed watching it. It challenges the entire take that films are supposed to be seen on silver screen.

However, there is a magic about silver screen and it will remain so for a lot of filmmakers. OTT is a great way for films to be seen. Particularly, some of the films I made, an OTT release would have been ideal for them. Like my film Omerta or Aligarh, I don’t think they were meant for theatrical release. The two would have been great releases for OTT platform.

It (OTT) will be a way forward for sometime as there are so many films ready. And it is a demand and supply equation. OTT platforms need good content and if producers have it but are unsure of its release plus are able to recover major amount of the cost with profit, they might do it. As a filmmaker, I find OTT liberating and this is the time when we should do more work for the platform.

Any of your films that you would want to re-release on OTT platforms?

I think Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar. I wish I can do a digital restoration of the film. It is a film ahead of its time with a great script by Saurabh Shukla. It is relevant in today’s time because of the migrant crisis we are looking at. It is a very personal look at a migrant’s story. My whole obsession with migrants’ stories started with that film. So, I wish it comes out in pristine form and is seen by people.

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