Curtains Up! C Space to propel Malayalam cinema

The platform, which operates on a pay-per-view basis, allows viewers to watch a feature film for ₹75 and shorter content for a much lesser price.

ByDileep V Kumar

Published Mar 06, 2024 | 12:45 PMUpdatedMar 06, 2024 | 5:26 PM

C Space to propel Malayalam cinema

Film lovers, get ready for a revolution. For you can now enjoy the captivating world of Malayalam cinema with its unique stories and unparalleled talents through C Space, a state-owned OTT platform.

To be launched on Thursday, 7 March, by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Kerala government is making a grand entrance into the world of streaming services through C Space. And it will operate on a pay-per-view streaming model.

Being touted as a groundbreaking initiative, C Space, which is India’s first government-owned OTT platform, promises to not only entertain audiences but also elevate Malayalam cinema to new heights

It helps showcase vibrant storytelling and diverse content in Malayalam films to a global audience.

Curated content to be screened

In a Facebook post, Minister for Fisheries, Culture and Youth Affairs Saji Cheriyan said only those feature films released in cinema halls will be screened via C Space.

He added that films that bagged state, national, or international recognition will be given preference for release on the OTT platform.

Short films, documentaries, and experimental films will also be released, upon approval from curators.

C Space will be managed by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC) on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

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Watch a feature film for just ₹ 75

According to KSDFC Chairman Shaji N Karun, also a noted filmmaker and cinematographer, 42 films will be screened through C Space in the first phase. This includes 35 feature films, six documentaries, and one short film.

“The platform will work on a pay-per-view streaming model. One can watch a feature film for ₹ 75. In the case of short films and documentaries, it could be watched for a much lower price. Half of the amount charged will go to the content provider,” Shaji told the media on Tuesday, 5 March.

The KSFDC said award-winning films like Nishiddho and B 32 Muthal 44 Vare will be premiered via C Space.

How to submit a work?

Filmmakers who want to screen their work via C Space will first have to register a form published on the KSFDC website.

However, the KSFDC reminds the applicants that submitting that form does not mean that the film is selected for screening on C Space.

The information furnished by the filmmaker will first be vetted by the curators. Then KSFDC may ask the right holder to submit the whole film.

The film will then be watched by the curators and the selection will be based on their recommendation. However, the decision of the curators in this regard will be final.

As of now, Malayalam content is being preferred by the KSFDC.

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60-member curator committee

For the selection and approval of films, a 60-member curator committee has also been constituted. This includes Santhosh Sivan, Shyamaprasad, Sunny Joseph, Jio Baby, OV Usha, and Benyamin.

“This committee will evaluate the artistic and cultural value of the work. They had a marking scheme for that. Only those works recommended by them will be screened. But those films which were screened in international film festivals and those who bagged national or state level recognitions will not have to be curated,” said Shaji.

He also added that this will ensure the quality of the content.

According to KSFDC, another attraction of C Space is the opportunity it provides for filmmakers to recoup the production cost through crowdfunding with the support of viewers watching their films.

It was in May 2022 that the Kerala government released the name of its OTT platform, C Space.

The OTT, which will be available for download on Play Store and other app stores from 7 March, could be accessed from any part of the world.

May ‘C Space’ stand out

According to film director Indu Lakshmi, much will depend upon C Space’s technical side.

“A lot of OTT platforms are there. In such a landscape, C Space should have a standout feature. Also, it should be user-friendly. Though I laud the initiative, I hope the platform excels consistently,” Indu Lakshmi told South First.

At the same time, noted film director Dr Biju commented that it would be premature to comment on C Space.

“Let’s see how many subscribers could C Space garner. Also, how well it could reach out to the global audience,” Biju told South First.

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