Entertainment

State-owned OTT platform: Unique venture in Kerala’s film arena

State government-owned OTT platform CSpace will enable film lovers to access a wide range of films, short films and documentaries of their choice

It’s to be known as CSpace, and is expected to revolutionise the way the people of Kerala watch movies. In what is termed as a forerunner for the whole of the nation to emulate, Kerala will kick start its own state government-owned OTT platform that would bring to film buffs a wide range of films, short films and documentaries of their choice. CSpace, which boasts of several unique features, will be unveiled on November 1, the Kerala state formation day.

Saji Cheriyan, Kerala’s Minister for Culture, stated that this would be a first-of-its-kind initiative in India, and that CSpace will mark a new beginning that will considerably help in the growth of Malayalam cinema.

OTT platform not to impact theatre business

Assuring that the new OTT will not create crisis for the movie-house business, Cheriyan said films will be streamed on CSpace only after their theatrical release. “CSpace would ensures profit sharing, transparency and hi-end technical quality,” he added.

The OTT platform will also showcase films with artistic value irrespective of their performance at box office, along with internationally-recognised and award-winning films, best films screened at the renowned annual International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), short films and documentaries.

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The registration of films to be streamed on CSpace will begin on June 1, for which necessary arrangements have been made at the government-owned Chitranjali Studio as well as the head office of Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC) in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram.

In a bid to kick off projects aimed at modernising KSFDC, sufficient funds are expected to be provided for renovation of government-owned theatres and necessary funds have already been provided for the project to transform Chitranjali Studio into a favourite shooting location of filmmakers.

Long-lasting income opportunity for film producers

Noting that OTT has a global appeal in Internet era, KSFDC chairman and renowned filmmaker Shaji N Karun said it offers a wide reach for films without language barriers. “CSpace assures transparency and it ensures that the producers or their families will get a long-lasting income like a pension on their intellectual property. Kerala has set a model for other states through the launch of its own OTT platform,” said Shaji, who is also an award-winning director and cinematographer.

It is expected that the OTT platform would stay away from impacting the theatre business in any way, as CSpace would focus more on ways to appreciate a variety of films, including short films and award-winning documentaries. Unlike certain other OTT platforms, CSpace would provide the facility to watch a particular film by paying for it alone. One part of the amount given for the film by the viewer will go to the producer, who will get his share whenever viewers watch that film.

CSpace would add a fresh feather to the KSFDC cap, which had become the first public sector corporation for film development in India when it was established in 1975.

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