Filmmakers Vishal Bhardwaj (Khufiya), Sudip Sharma (Kohrra), Apoorva Bakshi (Hunt for Veerappan), Sujoy Ghosh (Jaane Jaan) and Raj & DK (Guns & Gulaabs) were part of a panel titled ‘Seminal Storytellers in Streaming 2023’ held during the course of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
The makers talked about their respective projects and also discussed the changing dynamics of storytelling, the influence of streaming platforms and the opportunities that streaming platforms provide to bring local stories to the forefront.
Elaborating on how streaming helped him tell the story of his latest Khufiya, director Vishal Bhardwaj said, “One of the major advantages of working with streaming platforms like Netflix is that they enable us to experiment. Khufiya had been my passion project and in the works for quite some time, however to bring this to life it required someone who could grasp the nuance and pace of the story, Netflix gave me that support.”
Speaking about creating characters for Kohrra, Sudip said, “A great character is one that audiences can empathize with and understand its motivations. As a creator, you need to be convinced about your characters before taking them into the world.”
Director duo Raj & DK spoke about how clueless they were before writing Guns & Gulaabs. “We were in fact looking up online as to what a bible is or how to design an episode etc,” said Raj. “We slowly realised that we should come up with our own process to create a series. We also observed that the kind of story we were trying to tell was dictating the length and structure of the series. For Guns & Gulaabs, we were having more fun and free-wheeling with the structure and shape of the series. One example would be the last episode. We turned it into a feature film with an intermission built-in.”
Talking about his latest thriller Jaane Jaan, Sujoy Ghosh said, “When I read Devotion of Suspect X, I knew this was the love story I wanted to make and all it took was the script to bring Kareena on board as well. I truly believe that for any actor today, if given a good script they will make sure to give it their all, no matter the medium; theaters or streaming platforms.”
Delving into the making of the docu-series Hunt For Veerappan, Apoorva Bakshi shared, “There were so many aspects of Veerappan’s fractured psyche that were not known to people beyond a certain region. Our teams researched extensively, captured over 240 hours of footage and took a lot of care to build a portrayal of the life of a man from the lens of those close to him, and those involved in the manhunt. There was a perception about this complex personality. Through the docu-series, we wanted to offer viewers a well-rounded, unbiased view of the story so that they could form their own perspective.”