Anurag Kashyap on the challenges of launching an arthouse VoD service in India

Screen | 1/27/2020 | Geoffrey Macnab
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Director, actor and entrepreneur Anurag Kashyap (Gangs Of Wasseypur) told the Reality Check: Originality conference at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) this weekend how he set up blockchain-powered VOD platform myNK, which aims to bring global arthouse titles to Indian audiences.

Kashyap was speaking on a panel on Reaching Audiences in New Ways moderated by producer Lorna Tee, and was joined by Gavin Humphries, managing editor of global online arts and culture video platform, Nowness.

Kashyap - Black - Friday - Film - Bombay

In 2007, Kashyap had directed Black Friday, a film about the 1993 Bombay bombings that was screened at the Locarno Festival but banned by the Indian censor board. He realised there were many non-Bollywood films that no one would release in the country. He had funded and produced work from new filmmakers, including Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, which had screened in Cannes, Venice and elsewhere, but “our biggest problem was that when we went home, if a movie did not break out in the festivals, it was very hard to find distribution (in India).”

The Lunchbox had been a hit globally. “It made a lot of money worldwide but we didn’t see much of it. Every country has a distribution system but there are lots of these gaps and black holes that you can’t figure out,” he remembered. “You wanted to figure out every country, audit the accounts (but) you don’t know how things go on.”

Kashyap - School - Classmates - Business - Politics

Kashyap had gone to “a very high-end public school” and many of his old classmates were prominent in business and politics. “My classmates were sitting together. They wanted to understand the movie business. I would always say to them, do not invest in it because you won’t make it back.” One of the friends was a blockchain pioneer. Kashyap realised the blockchain technology could help him solve the Indian distribution conundrum.

“It can...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Screen
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