Actor-producer Rana Daggubati is known for pushing the envelope when it comes to film projects. His production Krishna And His Leela, directed by Ravikanth Perepu, dropped recently on Netflix. Rana and Ravikanth speak about the OTT space, what it offers filmmakers, and more. Excerpts from an interview.
Does it feel weird to have your film launched, and not being able to track the Friday box office and all that?
Ravikanth: I’m really glad that the film came out on an OTT platform like Netflix. It’s a new thing now, and we have to adapt to the situation. It’s a tough time yes, but I feel it got a bigger release than it would’ve got in theatres. More people get to see my movie now.
How was the feedback from Netflix?
Rana: It’s trending on Netflix and it has been trending on social media as well. I’ve had folks from Netflix calling and congratulating me. I guess the only bar we have is that there is no box office, or show one and show two.
What was it like when Kshanam was released versus when this released?
Ravikanth: Kshanam was an entirely different story, and it had some intensity to it. It felt good to have a theatrical release for that film, and I felt good watching it in the theatre. I had hoped this would get a theatrical release as well, but like I said earlier, we have to adapt to the situation.
What made you choose this film?
Rana: If you notice, the trailer says “Based on true rumours”. When Ravi and Siddhu (lead actor and co-writer) narrated this idea to me, I felt it would connect to modern youth and pop culture. I feel we got it in the right place that we wanted to, with OTT. This is the world it had to go to. Right now, due to Netflix, it’s not just a Telugu film; it is content that is globally relevant.
So, you’re saying that having it out on Netflix makes it like any foreign film, where you don’t have to worry about whether there are enough Telugu-speaking people to watch it. You can just put it out into the world and the numbers will come…
Rana: Yeah, and in a week or 10 days from now, we’re putting it on Aha, which is more of a regional platform with Telugu content.
Do you see a world where the small films will naturally go to OTT, and only the big budget star films will be left for theatres?
Ravikanth: If you look at the West, this is the scenario there. Only visual spectacles like Marvel’s films or Christopher Nolan’s films are getting a theatrical release. I don’t think our native audience is used to going to theatres to watch film festivals and the like. I think it will take some more time for us to adapt to the situation.