With the rise of OTT platforms, we’ve seen a rise in the number of female-centric films and shows. From Four More Shots Please to Lust Stories to Karenjit Kaur to Mission Over Mars, there has been a diverse set of female-centric films and shows hitting OTT platforms. Not only female-centric content, but we’ve also seen some fantastic female characters. From Made in Heaven’s Tara to Ponmagal Vandhal’s Venba to Penguin’s Rhythm, OTT platforms have harboured several strong female characters. This trend is not only restricted to OTT giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Platforms like Alt Balaji, ZEE5, Voot too have had their share of female-centric content. What could be the reason for this trend?
One can say that OTT platforms don’t have the scrutiny that theatrical releases face. Films like Lipstick Under My Burkha and Padmaavat faced backlash for their content. With an OTT release, the makers need not worry about jumping over backwards to censor their films and shows.
Additionally, OTT platforms are giving filmmakers a platform to break the never-ending cycle of formula films. They can project an alternative to the strong, macho, or hyper-romantic male hero. Without the pressures of box office collections, figures and ratings, filmmakers can finally break free of the box office driven films that are stereotypically male-centric. Mainstream films usually project women in supporting roles. OTT platforms have allowed female characters to be their selves rather than being sidelined as the sisters, mothers, or significant others of the male characters. This could be another reason why female-centric filmmakers are opting for OTT releases.
Audiences too play a role. The rise in demand for OTT content is not just about quantity but quality as well. So we can say that filmmakers are also responding to audiences who are looking for fresh and different content.