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'Very Special Project For Us': Sudhanshu Rai Talks About His Upcoming Film Chintaa Mani, OTT Boom And Experiences In Film Industry

Sudhanshu Rai will star in a short film 'Chintaa Mani'. He was previously worked on 'Detective Boomrah' and 'Chaipatti'.

By Simran Srivastav
Updated: Sat, 06 Aug 2022 10:10 AM IST
Minute Read
'Very Special Project For Us': Sudhanshu Rai Talks About His Upcoming Film Chintaa Mani, OTT Boom And Experiences In Film Industry

From Detective Boomrah to Chaipatti, actor, filmmaker and storyteller Sudhanshu Rai has always experimented with stories having supernatural and horror elements. He is all set for the release of his next short film 'Chintaa Mani' and the trailer of this comedy thriller is out on Kahanikaar Sudhanshu Rai's official YouTube Channel. Apart from starring in the film, Chintaa Mani is written by Sudhanshu Rai as well. In an exclusive conversation with Jagran English, he talked about Chintaa Mani, his experience, OTT and theatrical release and his future plans.

When asked if he perceives OTT as a threat to traditional theatrical releases, he said that the audience has consistently evolved with the passage of time and nobody can preempt the behavioural aspect of the viewers. "Two years since the outbreak and today many amongst us prefer to continue with work-from-home or hybrid working model, rather than commuting to the office every day. Similarly, the phase compelled people to scout for entertainment options within the confines of their homes, and thus increased their affinity towards OTT. During the course of it, a major chunk of the audience got well acquainted with newer formats and content. However, it did not entail the end of the road for theatres as we have seen a slew of pan-India blockbusters from Hindi and southern film industries alike that were released on the big screen," said Sudhanshu Rai.

He further mentioned that the audience today is more concerned about the out-of-the-box content and experience. He added, "The audience today seeks captivating content that keeps them hooked from the beginning till the end, whether it’s binge watching on television or mobile screens or the theatres. The kind of cinema that earlier did wonders at the box office may not get the same response today, and it has been visible in the box office reports of a few major releases in recent past."

He talked about how OTT platforms have helped Indian filmmakers to experiment with newer content and concept and gave an example of his work as well. "For instance Saints Art Original horror-comedy Chaipatti was loved by the viewers for its edge-of-the-seat plot and concept across different platforms such as Disney Hotstar, MX Player and YouTube, despite spanning just 12 minutes. Even Detective Boomrah was widely lauded despite it being one of the very few Indian detective web series. The confluence of different elements like time travel, Sitarvadan and supernatural performed exceedingly well whereas a few years ago it could have been touted as ahead of its time," he said.

He added that the acceptance of OTTs has decimated several barriers like language and geographical proximity and an independent filmmaker can dare to experiment with newer genres and content because of the OTT.

Speaking about his experience in the film industry, Sudhanshu said that his journey has definitely been immensely enriching and enlightening. From being a storyteller to an actor and filmmaker, Sudhanshu has donned different hats in his film career and said that he feels blessed and takes pride in his progress. "After the completion of my education, I started as an entrepreneur and subsequently founded a strategic communication firm, Saints Art, which has now evolved into a communication as well as a production house. My creative journey, however, began much earlier during my school and college days wherein I wrote, directed and acted in a lot of plays, some of which went on to receive awards and accolades. It was a couple of years back when I formally became a storyteller on multiple digital platforms and radio. Thanks to my listeners, it did not take much time for us to come up with our first streaming release Chaipatti, followed by Detective Boomrah and upcoming Chintaa Mani," said Sudhanshu talking about his journey.

Sudhanshu called his experiment with short films 'strategic' as it helped him understand the preferences or choices of his viewers. Soon, the audience can expect a major announcement from the banner of Saints Art and Kahanikaar Sudhanshu Rai. "...All we can share at this point is that the next Saints Art and Kahanikaar Sudhanshu Rai Original will be a complete feature film with a gripping and riveting plot, and a few popular names from Bollywood. Post that, we intend to bring to the audience the much-anticipated second season of the web series Detective Boomrah, which would definitely be much bigger in all aspects than the previous edition," said Sudhanshu talking about his future projects.

Sudhanshu further spoke about his upcoming film 'Chintaa Mani'. He mentioned that it is a special film for him, which promises a distinctive culmination of various genres and subgenres, such as comedy, horror, sci-fi etc. He said, " It is a story about three friends who get hold of a precious stone, Mani, which shows the future. While at first, it appears a prized catch, the events that follow turn the life of the trio upside down. Furthermore, a vagabond who gave them the Mani also turns out to be much more than what meets the eye."

Sudhanshu added that he is thankful to the viewers for giving its trailer an overwhelming response. Directed by Puneet Sharma, Chintaa Mani stars Sudhanshu Rai, Shibhit Sujay, Abhishek Sonapaliya and Akhlaq Ahmed. The movie is written by Sudhanshu Rai as well.

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