Veteran producer Anand Pandit urges that film awards give OTT its due credit given that it is keeping entertainment alive during the pandemic!

Had it been any other year, juries across the Indian film industry would have started gearing up for the film awards season. But this year the award ceremonies are most likely going to look different, not only because they could be virtual but also because OTT releases will possibly sweep most of the awards. Since theatres are shut due to the lockdown, OTT has become the new order of the day in the entertainment space and producers are increasingly releasing movies online in a bid to keep entertainment alive.

Veteran producer Anand Pandit who is all geared to let OTT have the privilege of premiering his next, Abhishek Bachchan starrer Big Bull, is concerned about how the platform will play at the award ceremonies. “When OTT is where filmmakers are releasing so many movies, it is only natural that film award committees and juries keep OTT in mind in a big way. At the moment, it is only one of the categories at some awards, but now it will have to be the mainstay,” said Pandit.

Internationally, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has refitted its codebook to include movies released on OTT, which means they will also be eligible for an Oscar in 2021. In India, the approach may take a bit longer because of a general reluctance towards the platform, notwithstanding that even big producers like Anand Pandit are releasing movies on OTT. “There are some films which will wait for theatres to open while there are others who will choose OTT. Producers will decide keeping many factors in mind. But given the spate of releases on OTT, the platform should be given credit for ensuring that entertainment is the number one leisure activity during the lockdown.“

A movie that sparked this trend was Netflix’s Roma which won the Best Director, Best Cinematography and the Best Foreign Language awards at the 91st Academy Awards. This could easily make an impact in the way award categories are styled henceforth in India. Of course, in the last year or so, there have been specially-designed award shows for the web only and innovators and out-of-the-box thinkers and actors are being given their due credit there.

Anand Pandit, often called the man with the Midas touch, is not just a successful producer but a formidable force in the real estate sector. His high end, luxury real estate company, Lotus Developers has developed state-of-the-art residences for the who's who of Bollywood.

Anand Pandit has collaborated and produced some iconic films under the banner Anand Pandit Motion Pictures. Interestingly he is working with both the Bachchans currently - with Big B in "Chehre" and Junior Bachchan in "The Big Bull" both set to release later this year.

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