shows flooding the television channels these days, Sahara Filmy couldn't have stayed behind for long. The channel is providing a platform for young amateur filmmakers to showcase their talent by inviting entries for a short films competition. The entries could be from any genre of cinema, such as comedy, horror, sci-fi, etc.
'Short Films' on Filmy will feature the films short-listed from among all the entries received by the channel. An eminent panel will judge the films on various parameters such as quality of work, content and the amount of hard work put in. The panel includes well-known filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar. The other members of the panel will be decided soon.
Sahara Filmy claims to have received 150 entries in all since it opened the competition on May 17, 2006, and it hopes to receive many more. Given the number of channels showcasing movies from all genres, what's in it for audiences who seek entertainment and how will Filmy gather audiences for these short films?
"We are not expecting a large number of people to watch these films. We know it won't get us TVRs either. Actually, there is no money really," says an undeterred Ashutosh, business head, Filmy. Shailesh Kapoor, head, marketing and content, Filmy, is of the same opinion. He says, "We haven't come up with this initiative to garner TVRs. It's purely for a cause."
However, the channel is indulging in mass advertising to promote the initiative. The promos will be aired in theatres and on Sahara One and Filmy, apart from direct communication with aspiring film makers. The probable target for this is the SEC A profile.
The top 15 short-listed films will be aired on Filmy at prime time on Sundays. The other films will be aired on week days, from August onwards. There will also be an Audience Favourite Film, through votes, and the filmmaker will be profiled on Filmy. The channel hopes to continue with this initiative for as long as it can, either once in six months or once in a year.
Although, collectively, both Sahara One and Filmy do not believe in TVRs, they swear by the hype and the popularity that this initiative will bring them. But how long will Filmy sustain this social cause? That's the real question.
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