Former Disney India Head and leading producer Siddharth Roy Kapur has highlighted the potential challenges that can arise when making films for streaming platforms. Speaking at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival’s Industry Connect Symposium, Kapur praised the positive impact brought by streaming platforms but also voiced concerns about certain practices.
While discussing films intended for theatrical release, Kapur noted that in government-funded European industries, the recoupment might be a Cannes slot, whereas in India, it is predominantly monetary. He emphasized the importance of filmmakers ensuring that the money invested in their projects is returned to the financiers, especially if they are seeking equity investment. Kapur argued that the tension between art and commerce contributes to engaging and compelling cinema, rather than shying away from it.
Kapur also addressed the indulgence and creative freedom that streaming platforms offer but cautioned that it can sometimes result in lazy filmmaking. Without the constraints and pressures of theatrical release, there may be less compelling and watchable cinema. He emphasized the necessity of a “report card” system for streaming platforms similar to theatrical box office performance.
Furthermore, Kapur highlighted the recent successes of films featuring stars instead of superstars in the Bollywood box office. He attributed the triumph of films like “Zara Hatke Zara Bachke” and “Satyaprem Ki Katha” to their thematic content rather than the star power. This challenges the notion that independent movies can only thrive on streaming platforms and emphasizes the continued relevance of theatrical release.
In conclusion, Siddharth Roy Kapur acknowledged the positive aspects of streaming services in the industry but also urged filmmakers to be mindful of the potential drawbacks and maintain the balance between artistic expression and commercial viability.