Manish Kalra & Ahana Kumra discuss the making of ‘India Lockdown’

The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a sea-change in people’s lives as well as economies and business operations. The world saw extended periods of lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, an unprecedented situation that no one in the current generation has witnessed.

The lockdown brought the world to a grinding halt as people were forced to stay indoors. At the same time, this period brought about several changes in the way people went about their lives – working from home, re-prioritising spends, consuming content, and more. A massive shift to digital was seen during the pandemic period. While television ran out of fresh content as shootings were not allowed, OTT platforms registered a surge in viewers with their differentiated content.

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ZEE5, the OTT platform from Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, has come up with a new film, titled ‘India Lockdown’, which narrates multiple stories of the lockdown period as well as highlights the plight of the massive migrant population that was left stranded in different cities and had to face harrowing times in their journey back to their home towns.

Manish Kalra, CRO, Zee5 and actor Ahana Kumra came together to talk about the making of ‘India Lockdown’, at SCREENXX Summit and Awards 2022 in a fireside chat.

Manish Kalra started the session by speaking about the evolution of content and how ZEE5 is trying to come up with original content. He stated, “The audience is evolving everyday and so we have to evolve with them. OTT has brought really good content, unlike the simple content which used to exist. India has been a great learner right from the creators/ actors to film makers to directors and so on.”

Speaking about the deep impact of the Covid lockdown, Ahana Kumra said, “The lockdown changed everything. We are not competing with India any more, we are competing with the global audience. I believe everything has a cycle and after a point it needs to break. The implementation of lockdown was required to break the regular cycle of content.”

Speaking about the authentic content brought about by TVF, she said, “TVF has managed to do something which is absolutely endearing. It hits the home ground.”

Kalra further pointed out, “The audiences are very smart and we have to move according to them. We have to make the kind of content that they can relate with to their day-to-day life. We focus on content which is real and relatable.”

These are edited excerpts. For the complete conversation, please watch below:


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