Home >Industry >Media >Less-seen old movies now on video streams

After snapping up as many new titles as possible, video streaming platforms are now looking for little-seen old films of quality to bring them to a wider audience over the lockdown. While SonyLIV has acquired Manoj Bajpayee’s Bhonsle and Rajat Kapoor’s dark comedy Kadakh, ZEE5 has picked up Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Ghoomketu and Prakash Jha’s Pareeksha—The Final Test.

While Bhonsle, also co-produced by Bajpayee, toured the festival circuit in 2018, including Dharamshala, Rotterdam Busan and Singapore, Kadakh was part of the South Asian International Film Festival last year. Neither found a theatrical release. Jha’s take on the education system, which premiered at the International Film Festival of India in Goa, will now release as a ZEE5 original, while Ghoomketu, already available on the platform, had not found a distributor for a couple of years.

“It’s not about old or new, but the kind of stories we think will resonate with our viewers," said Amogh Dusad, head, programming and new initiatives, SonyLIV. The idea of digital platforms, Dusad added, is to offer multiple pieces of content to multiple viewers, be it Hollywood hits, live sports, latest films or older, niche offerings. “Different people have different tastes; the same person may watch different stuff on the same day or week, so we have to expand our basket of offerings."

Jehil Thakkar, a partner at Deloitte India, said the dearth of new content due to stalled production of web originals and the availability of movies with a recognizable name has sparked interest in these titles. Besides, compared to the 25 crore- 30 crore acquisitions of new films, the older titles may come for as little as 10 crore.

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