My CinemaHall, a revolutionary pay-per-view app, has launched a Bengali Short Film Festival called ‘My SHORTS’. A first in the world of short films, this festival is a golden opportunity for filmmakers to not only showcase their work but also earn money. All shortlisted films will be screened on My CinemaHall during Durga Puja this year and the revenue generated from each film will be shared with the filmmaker. It won’t be wrong to say that there is a dearth of credible platforms where filmmakers can monetize short films. ‘My SHORTS’ is sure to open up a new world for filmmakers as well as the audience.
Throwing more light on what sets My SHORTS apart, Kalyanmoy Chatterjee, Managing Director of My CinemaHall, said, “The festival opens up opportunities for budding filmmakers to exhibit their creations. We have already witnessed huge enthusiasm among filmmakers in terms of participation. We have plans to roll out such short film festivals in other regional languages soon.”
Yaatrik Chakraborty, one of the founder members of My CinemaHall who also conceptualized the festival, further elaborated, “There are many short-film-festivals that you see in the social media. I feel they are neither qualified nor have a transparent process of selection. The participants do not even know if their film will ever be screened. In My SHORTS, we have a transparent process of selection, the credentials of the judges are unquestionable, and we are giving the filmmakers an opportunity to earn money from the screening.”
The panel of judges is another attraction for the festival. The Chairperson of the jury is Ms Aparna Sen – renowned director, actor and international film personality. Other judges include Arghyakamal Mitra (award-winning editor), Anik Datta (well-known director), Avik Mukhopadhyay (award-winning cinematographer), Sohag Sen (actor and theatre personality). It is noteworthy that apart from the awards decided by the jury, there will be a special Audience Choice Award as well.
Anik Datta, a celebrated director and one of the jury members, emphasized, “The festival creates an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their talent to a select audience. I am confident that it has the potential to turn into a pool from where curators of significant festivals in India and abroad can readily access quality films.”
A theatre of the digital world, My CinemaHall provides filmmakers a platform to exhibit their creations to the viewers, without any hassles and complications of releasing a film. It offers the viewers an opportunity to watch the films of their choice anytime, anywhere. It is an app-based OTT platform, which works on a pay-per-view model. The viewers pay for a ticket and watch and the filmmakers get their due share of the revenue cutting out the middlemen or the brokers. What’s more, My CinemaHall is piracy-proof which means filmmakers are free from all kinds of worries and can focus on what they do best: tell their stories to the world.
My CinemaHall is a startup, developed in Kolkata and launched in April 2020. In the short span of four months, it has achieved more than 12,000 downloads. More than 100 Feature films, short films and plays have been screened. Today the platform is attracting English, Hindi, Assamesw, Oriya and Kannada films.
Cinema halls are yet to be allowed to operate till date. Even after they open, whether the viewers will venture out to a closed environment is a big question. Virtual cinema halls are likely to be the future of home entertainment in the new emerging normal.