Manjrekar against censoring OTT content


Censoring content really affects creativity of the artist?

Covid pandemic has changed the whole structure of every field into a new style which is simply called as ‘new normal’. But for cinema its sure that OTT can never give the real theatre experience.

I have no worries because my series is one which the entire family can sit and watch together without feeling uncomfortable…Mahesh speaks with Ahana Bhattacharya.

Filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar does not support the idea of censoring OTT content. At the same time, he feels filmmakers should be responsible and not take advantage of lack of censorship in the digital space.

1962: The War In The Hills

Manjrekar’s upcoming web series 1962: The War In The Hills, is a 10-episode war drama that offers a glimpse into the lives of soldiers who stood rock solid against Chinese troops, dedicating their lives for the security of the nation.

“I feel we should be very particular and careful about what we want to show. I have no worries because my series is one which the entire family can sit and watch together without feeling uncomfortable. But I feel we should be a little more responsible about what we are showing.

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Yes, I would not like to see censorship on OTT content but there are some people who really take advantage of this,” Mahesh Manjrekar told.

The filmmaker also feels that OTT platforms should not be a reason of insecurity for cinema theatres because the two can easily coexist.

“This has been an argument for years now. These can easily exist together. Nothing can replace cinema halls. This debate also happened in the past when television had started gaining popularity. I don’t see cinema suffering because of OTT. We should not lose our sleep thinking OTT will finish the future of cinema halls, it won’t,” he said.

Opening up about his series, Manjrekar shared: “The series is a fictional take on the war of 1962. However, more than the war, we have concentrated on the human side of the soldiers. Sometimes we might feel that a soldier’s duty is to protect us and he doesn’t have any emotions, but he has. He is vulnerable and close to his family just like us. But what makes him different from us is the fact that he has the will to die so that we are safe. I’ve tried to look into the emotional aspect of all those soldiers who fought that war.”

The series has been shot in Ladakh in extreme weather conditions. Recalling his experience of the shoot, Manjrekar said: “Yes it was difficult shooting in the terrain. There was a lot of physical activity involved, so we had to somehow acclimatise ourselves to that condition and then start shooting. But it was fun because everybody was so charged up to bring this chapter of history in front of the audience!”

The web series has an ensemble cast including Abhay Deol, Akash Thosar, Sumeet Vyas, Rohan Gandotra, Annup Soni, Meiyang Chang, Mahie Gill, Rochelle Rao and Hemal Ingle in key roles. It will stream on Disney + Hotstar VIP and Disney + Hotstar Premium from February 26.

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