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Kerala’s state-owned OTT platform to launch in March

Unlike other platforms, C-Space will only feature Malayalam content on its streaming portfolio, which will include award-winning films, short films, documentaries and low-budget independent cinema

Kerala is scheduled to launch a state-owned OTT platform, called C-Space, next month as per media reports. Initially, the platform was supposed to be launched on Nov 1, 2022. However, the launch was postponed due to several technical issues.

Created by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC) with funds from the state government, C-Space is an effort to bring Malayalam cinema to a wider audience.

Unlike other platforms, C-Space will only feature Malayalam content on its streaming portfolio, which will include award-winning films, short films, documentaries and low-budget independent cinema.

Shaji N Karun, national-award-winning director and chairman of KSFDC, said, “Currently at our film festivals, the local Malayalam flicks are viewed only by the delegates. Even if they go on to be released theatrically, only people in Kerala are able to watch them. For example, the films presented at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) or those winning state awards should get a wider audience. We need to bring cinema to people, that’s our responsibility.”

Terming the OTT platform as a ‘parallel cultural move’, Karun said it would stream the kind of ‘varied’ or ‘different’ films made in Malayalam that deserve to reach a global viewership. “Our objective is to improve the quality of our audience. Right now, in Kerala, Tamil and Telugu films are the highest grossers in theatres. We want to help change the behaviour pattern of the audience,” he said.

In contrast to other OTT platforms, C-Space will exclusively showcase Malayalam-language content, regardless of whether it has had a theatrical release. The selection of content for the platform is entrusted to a distinguished panel of 60 curators, including historians, filmmakers, writers, and professionals from various sectors of the film industry.

“There is a cost of almost 50% we are bearing to ensure technical aspects of a film, rental cost, quality upgrades, website maintenance etc. The remaining 50% of the revenue from a film being streamed will go to its producer. If it’s a director who got a state or national award, a share of the revenue will be given for intellectual rights of the film as well. This is a creator-friendly platform in that sense where we are giving them a slice of the revenue,” said the KSFDC chairman.

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