OTT India Fest, an exciting 2-day event, was initiated by Bollywood Hungama, India’s premier entertainment platform, in Mumbai. The festival boasted a diverse schedule comprising panel discussions, fireside chats, masterclasses, workshops, and an award ceremony celebrating talents in the OTT entertainment sector. The festival’s first day commenced with an insightful panel discussion centred on the ever-expanding OTT landscape in India, where industry leaders and decision-makers shared their expertise and insights.
Bollywood Hungama OTT India Fest: Adivi Sesh addresses cultural diversity challenges; says, “We are not allowed to play Telugu songs in Hyderabad in Hard Rock Café”
Actor Adivi Sesh, known for his work in Telugu cinema, shed light on certain disparities that exist within the entertainment industry, particularly concerning South Indian actors. He commented on how many decisions made by streaming services are centred in Mumbai, despite the fact that South Indian films often outperform Hindi films both in terms of revenue and viewership.
During the panel discussion Sesh elaborated, saying, “I find that a lot of the decisions taken by streaming services they are based out of Mumbai and corporate India in general is based out of Mumbai. So, we always found it interesting as south Indian actors that our film might make 3 or 4 times the money as a Hindi film might make. But it would be that person who would be approached for an ad or for a brand. We would have more of a following, we would have more of a collection for our film, more viewership on streaming service. Yet, it would have been the actor from here who is approached for that brand. And when I looked into why, I realised that just hides into how we have always been.”
The actor also shared an incident from Hyderabad’s Hard Rock Café, saying, “We are not allowed to play Telugu songs in Hyderabad in Hard Rock Café. I couldn’t do an event there once because they said, ‘No, we have a policy of only English or Hindi songs.’ So corporate India I feel is still slow to wake up to the idea that these are all culture celebrated together.”
Adivi Sesh raised a crucial concern that when decisions about endorsing a makeup brand or a similar product are made in Mumbai, there may be someone outside of the city who is significantly more renowned and credible but remains unnoticed due to their absence from the city’s spotlight. He emphasized that these decisions affect the entire country and even extend to how films are approached by certain streaming services.
The Bollywood Hungama OTT India Fest, in association with Cinema Waale Film and Television Productions LLP and Across Media Solutions, held on the 18th & 19th of October 2023 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai were Presented by Sonata Poze, powered by TVS Jupiter and Kheloyar, Driven-by JK Tyre Blaze Rydr, alongside Matchmaking partner Bharat Matrimony, Stylish Audio partner Skullcandy, Banking partner Bank of Baroda, Healthcare partner Fujifilm Healthcare, True Chocolate partner Smoor, Astrology partner Astroyogi, Wellness Partner HCG hospitals, Cricketing Partner Metashot in association with Festival partners Satvik, Snacking partner Special Choice, Outdoor partner Bright Outdoor Media, Radio partner Radio City, and celebration partners Johnnie Walker and Heineken Silver.
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