That taking Kannada films overseas has remained among the prime concerns of the industry is not something unknown. What’s new however is director Pawan Kumar’s attempt to address the issue.
In a first of its kind attempt in Kannada cinema, the director has uploaded his debut film Lifeu Ishtene online. “It’s been only 48 hours since I hosted the film with English subtitles on my website pawanttheactor.com and 100 people have already registered,” says an elated Pawan.
The concept was the brainchild of film audience. “While many came to the theatres to watch my film, there were also those who were not able to watch it. So, through mails and social networking sites people started suggesting that the film be hosted online.
Such a request came mainly from those abroad and thus we decided to give the concept a try. The fact that the version available for download on Torrent was of inferior quality also worked in our favour,” says Pawan.
The film can be viewed in two versions. While the high resolution one is priced at five dollars, the low resolution version can be downloaded for two dollars and fifty cents. The streamed film comes with a three day validity. “People abroad are finding this system very convenient as they are comfortable with online payments. They also have good download speed to their advantage. The facility will soon be made available to Indian users,” adds Pawan.
Online hosting of the film has meant curbing of piracy. “The money will go to the production house and if the arrangement turns out to be a success, more producers may open up to the idea,” feels Pawan. In fact there have already been requests to upload films like Paramathma.
Pawan also looks at this system as a useful way to save on the expenditure involved in sending prints to overseas destinations.
“This also helps in gaining a good audience data base. Those who register are allowed to write in their opinions about the film. And this will help me remain updated about changing mindsets.” Registered members will also be provided information on his upcoming projects.
Lifeu Ishtene released this September. The film mirrored the nature of youth to fall in and out of love easily. Diganth, Samyukta Hornad, Sindhu Loknath and Satish were the lead actors.