Farhan Akhtar: Waiting to produce non-fiction content
Even as OTT platforms continue to exploit fiction, Inside Edge producer Farhan Akhtar says the market should open up to the riveting real-life inspired genre
Their appropriate understanding of viewers turning to OTT platforms for content consumption is evident in the slate of projects they've backed since 2017. The formula behind arriving at acclaimed projects, including the Emmy Award-nominated Inside Edge, Mirzapur and Made In Heaven, says Excel Entertainment's co-founder Farhan Akhtar, is merely giving a nod to projects that "excite the team". "If you like a script, and want more people to know of it, you back it. If it doesn't resonate with you, it doesn't mean no one else will like it. It's simply not for you," says Akhtar.
Prod him on the future of webseries content and Akhtar admits that, keeping consumption trends in mind, the focus remains on fiction. "However, I would [eventually] back non-fiction, because I find it fascinating. Currently, the platforms [in India] want to focus on fiction. I'm waiting for the day when that will change. [With] biographies and real-life crime, there's so much more to explore. That's also what people will end up watching," says the actor, asserting that he too is often mesmerised with stories inspired by real-life. "I head to the non-fiction category first in a book store. I find truth is truly stranger than fiction and the kind of things that happen in real life, if depicted on screen, are likely to invite the response: 'Yeh kaise ho sakta hai?' That's amazing."
As viewers celebrated the nomination of Sacred Games at the International Emmy Awards, Akhtar doesn't agree with notions that they harboured similar excitement for Inside Edge's nod in 2018. "People are still waking up to the web. If a film gets selected for the Oscars, everyone knows the magnitude of that achievement. Here, people are still not sure of the scale of the Emmys."
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