Sushmita Sen, Pratik Gandhi, Gajraj Rao on changing scenario of web content

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Critics’ Choice Awards nominees Sushmita Sen, Pratik Gandhi and Gajraj Rao discuss the changing landscape of storytelling and family-led stories taking centre stage in films and web series.

Film Critics Guild member Sucharita Tyagi moderated the session that was attended by Sushmita Sen (Best Actress nominee for web series ‘Aarya’ S2), Pratik Gandhi (Best Actor nominee for short film ‘Shimmy’) and Gajraj Rao (Best Actor nominee for web series ‘Ray’).

Sushmita says: “People being away from their families during the pandemic and also, the loss of life, has led to the emergence of the importance of family in storytelling. It helps you feel nostalgic about things that have affected your life.”

On her transition from film to streaming, she continues, “I come from a medium which was all about the Friday. I’ve never been reviewed or appreciated by people who understand different formats, so when the critics honour you like this, you feel like you’re on top of your game.”

Taking the discussion ahead, Pratik Gandhi adds: “Connection between people and human emotions have always been central to storytelling, and the bond between a family has always been superior in Indian cinema. Be it about the underworld, financial thrillers, love stories, all genres focus on emotions between humans. I enjoy performing these nuanced emotions which make a story complex.”

On the positive outcome of the two years without theatrical releases, Gajraj Rao shares: “So many writers, creators and technicians have gotten opportunities during this ‘gold rush’ of creating content now, that probably would not have happened before.”

“Artists having the power to say no to roles and jobs now due to being occupied elsewhere, is a great sign of the excess of opportunities. But I do miss the charm of the cinema, and the feeling of collectively watching a film with 200 other people. There is no comparison,” he concludes.

An awards ceremony judged and curated by India’s top critics rewarding content in short films, web series and feature films, Critics’ Choice Awards is presented by Film Critics Guild and Motion Content Group in collaboration with Vistas Media Capital.

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