Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan (R), producer Ritesh Sidhwani (C) and director Rahul Dholakia pose for a photograph during a promotional event for the Hindi film ‘Raees’ in Mumbai, January 30, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Producer Ritesh Sidhwani, who has produced Amazon Prime Video web series such as “Inside Edge” and “Mirzapur”, believes there should be no censorship on films and web series.
Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh’s company Excel Entertainment first ventured into the digital medium through the web series, “Inside Edge”, and the company now looks forward to “Mirzapur”, which is set to start streaming on Amazon Prime Video from November 16.
Currently, there is no censorship on the digital platform but there are reports that the government is planning to regulate the content on the web medium.
“I am not for censorship (on the web medium). We are rather fighting for censorship to go away even for movies. It is not existing for television. I think first they need to take steps as to what they are going to do for TV. If they are allowing self-censorship on TV medium for broadcast, then the same should apply (for digital platform).
“The minute you try to forcefully cut something, which is organically true to it, you are going to hamper creativity. I have also read it (reports), many things are to be read and ignored,” Sidhwani said.
He was talking at the launch press conference of “Mirzapur” alongside actors like Pankaj Tripathi, Vikrant Massey, Ali Fazal, Divyenndu Sharma, Shweta Tripathi, Rasika Duggal, Shriya Pilgaonkar.
The producer believes that the makers have to be responsible with their content.
“One has to be responsible as there is no guidelines. It should be true and organic and not forced. If it is forced it will stand out and you will not identify with it. In case of ‘Inside Edge’ everything is authentic, in terms of drugs and power play etc. ‘Mirzapur’ is set in hinterland of the country and it is all about staying true to the story,” Ritesh said.
He said due to streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, the content is reaching out to a wider audience.
“We are able to go to about 200 countries. Also writers, filmmakers, actors are discovered in various countries.”
Meanwhile, Vijay Subramanian, director and head – content, Amazon Prime Video, India, confirmed that they are in talks with director Ali Abbas Zafar for a web series.
There are reports that after Salman Khan-starrer “Bharat”, Zafar will helm a series called “Tandav”.
“We have lot of shows in development, I can’t comment on any one show as the process is in development and it is a long process. We are working with Ali but what we are working on, is something we are not ready to announce (at the moment),” Subramanian said.