When Kannada filmmaker-actor, Raj B Shetty took the stage at the OTTplay Awards and Conclave 2022 in Mumbai on Saturday evening, he could not have summed up the mood of the hour better. ”Talent was always judged by the language and the actor who performs. Thank you for eradicating that for the first time in India. Now, we are proud to be the way we are, look the way we are and write the stories that are ours and still be Indian and be accepted and complimented by audiences,” Raj B Shetty said. Raj took home an award for Pioneering efforts in New Wave Cinema, along with fellow Kannada filmmaker Rishab Shetty.
The first-ever OTTplay Awards and Conclave is the upshot of the core ethos of OTTplay – to democratise cinema with a vision, to recommend and stream content beyond boundaries – and award the best in the business of creating OTT content under one umbrella, One Nation, One OTTplay Award. The evening saw the who’s who of Indian cinema under one roof to celebrate the best OTT content of the year gone by.
Bollywood big-wigs rubbed shoulders with their counterparts from other corners of the country, each appreciative of the other’s work. Manoj Bajpayee, who won Best Actor in a Series (Jury) for Family Man Season 2, was visibly excited to be in the company of colleagues from the south and was vocal about it too. ”I don’t know if you guys watch our work, but I definitely watch yours and you guys are brilliant and remarkable. Thank you for teaching us a few things and for making Indian cinema shine everywhere,” Manoj Bajpayee said.
Harshavardhan Rane, winner of Best Actor in a Negative Role for Haseen Dillruba, also chipped in and thanked the south for kickstarting his showbiz career. Family Man makers Raj and DK exclaimed that they didn’t expect such a confluence of talent from across the country at the event. Both Raj and DK said that seeing their friends from Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam film industries, like Pa. Ranjith, Pushkar and Gayatri, Priyadarshi was a surprise and thanked OTTplay for organising this.
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Guru Somasundaram took home Breakthrough Performance of the year for Minnal Murali and said, ”It’s my first award on a national platform and that too in Mumbai. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The OTTplay Awards and Conclave stood out for me because of the intimate, closed setting as opposed to the usual awards shows that are packed with people. The hosts were also entertaining.
The jury picked deserving talents to receive the awards.” Malayalam director, Mahesh Narayanan, who won Best Story – Film – for Malik, added, ”Talents from south Indian film industries rarely are celebrated on a national stage along with the best of Bollywood. The inaugural OTTplay Awards offered that opportunity. It brought the best of Indian cinema at a single avenue and honoured the top artistes. It’s an event that I will make sure to attend every year.”
Veteran Telugu actor, Rajendra Prasad, who made his OTT debut after decades in films was adjudged the OTT Performer of the Year for Senapathi. Rajendra Prasad said, ”It’s humbling to see the reception that the South Indian industry got at OTTplay Awards. The event gave its due to the most happening talents in the country, the perfect platform to interact and bond with artistes beyond barriers. OTT is the way forward to reach out to audiences in the comfort of their homes and I’m glad an event like this recognised our efforts to entertain them through the digital medium.”
The absolute highlight, though, was when Telugu actor, Priyadarshi Pulikonda (Emerging OTT Star) got emotional on stage, ”Getting this OTTplayAward today is a testimony to the fact that your worth will be recognised when you are focused and give your everything to your art selflessly. It was a humbling experience to be part of an illustrious gathering, celebrating quality content beyond barriers. OTTplay Awards gave artistes across the country an opportunity to understand each other better. This evening will have a special place in my heart.”
In true pan-India style, the OTTplay Awards and Conclave 2022, also recognized the efforts of Arya (Best Actor-Male-Jury for Sarpatta Parambarai), Anirban Bhattacharya (Best Dialogues – Series, Mandaar), Prasanth Pandiyaraj (OTTplay Readers’ Choice Award – Best series for Vilangu), Dushara Vijayan and Aishwarya Lekshmi (OTT Emerging Star for Sarpatta Parambarai and Kaanekaane, respectively), Pa. Ranjith (Filmmaker of the Decade) and team Jai Bhim (Best Web Original Film (Popular).
Karnataka’s own Kishore, who has been working across south and Hindi film industries, got the Best Actor in a Negative Role – Series – for She Season 2, while Bangla star Parambrata Chatterjee got Best Supporting Actor – Series – for Aranyak. About OTTplay: OTTplay is India’s first ever smart recommendation engine, which handpicks the movies and shows that match your taste and language preferences by diving deep into the most number of OTT channels. The platform has launched 5 subscription packs in partnership with 12 Indian & International OTTs and has introduced 4 international OTTs in India. With the launch of subscriptions on OTTplay, you can choose from our 5 exciting packs and stream content of your choice on our app, web and mweb platforms.
OTTplay brings together popular Indian OTT platforms such as SonyLIV, ZEE5, LIONSGATE PLAY, Sun NXT, ShemarooMe, Curiosity Stream, ShortsTV, DocuBay as well as makes 4 international OTTs – Hallmark Movies Now, DUST, FUSE+ and Tastemade+ available in India, backed by AI-based recommendation and content discovery technology enabling viewers to navigate the clutter of OTT content with sheer ease and convenience.