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Bollywood producer Suravi Patnaik on the changing dynamics of OTT

With the entertainment industry regaining a semblance of normality, one may assume that web content may now be experiencing a backseat. However, it’s quite the opposite. The OTT boom has not only become an opportunity for actors but has also opened the door to a raft of new age directors and filmmakers; it's here to stay.

The web space is emerging fast as an important medium in the entertainment landscape, and audiences are spoilt for choice as they consume content in various languages. As for budding filmmakers, OTT opens up different ways for storytelling, big or small. With more liberty on format and censoring, there is a lot to experiment, says filmmaker Suravi Patnaik.

Patnaik, who made her first stroke in movies with Tom Cruise starrer Mission Impossible: Fallout in 2018, believes the digital medium has helped ease the commercial restrictions of creative projects. According to Patnaik, accessibility and personalisation are key differentiators of OTT platforms. Consumers stay engaged as they can discover content that is relevant to them, right at their fingertips. However, as a filmmaker, Patnaik feels that it's movie making that is changing faster than movie watching experiences. Gone are the days of commercial, happy-ending potboilers starring Khans. Cinema in 2021 is about content that is meaningful but may not necessarily have a happy ending or fit into a feature film format. Patnaik is happy to see newage cinema giving centrestage to actors instead of stars, cutting through language and mainstream barriers with its own kind of filmmaking such as web series and anthologies but feels that although the OTT space will continue to grow, streamers won’t replace theatres just yet.

Patnaik is the founder and ceo of Sponsa - a global company providing services in tech, marketing and more recently in film production. Suravi made her first bucks selling handmade Indian jeweller at the tender age of 16, when she was in high school in the UK. She graduated with a Masters degree in IT from University of Otago, New Zealand. However, her passion lied In 2017, she got a chance to work in Tom Cruise starrer Mission Impossible: Fallout. She became producer in 2020 - she is producing first of its kind Odia anthology content to be released worldwide in OTT platforms in early 2022.

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