Pocket films (www.pocketfilms.in) is a one-stop destination for everything about Short films. Read on to know more about the channel and what prompted Saameer to promote alternate content.
Tell us about your life journey in brief?
[Saameer Mody] In 2005, over a friendly discussion, the idea of launching a web portal for the film and TV industry took seed and a few months later, 1takemedia was launched in partnership with two friends. In 2010, Saameer Mody took over the content distribution and film contests vertical which was subsequently rebranded as ‘Pocket Films’. Today, Pocket Films is a one-stop destination for everything about ‘Short films & more’, a name to reckon with for award-winning short films, documentaries and independent films
Coming from the joint family business for over 17 years, Saameer took ahead Pocket Films with a vision to be at the forefront of non-traditional platforms and devices and lead the way to give alternate content and its creators the exposure and acclaim they deserve. Pocket Films under his aegis has gone from strength to strength ever since its inception and now Saameer is poised to take the brand’s reach further ahead.
What prompted you to start Pocket[Saameer Mody] Films?
[Saameer Mody] It was in 2006 that a seed was sown for a platform to provide opportunities for the film and TV industry and 1takemedia came into being. It envisioned and brought to life the first-ever online database and job portal for the industry professionals that was soon providing jobs and casting opportunities.
During the course of its activities, it occurred to the founders why should good content be hidden in small pockets and camera reels of budding filmmakers. With this game-changing idea, they ventured into online distribution of short films. By 2010, a dedicated vertical was formed that took the lead and ensured that any short but meaningful film creation does not remain discreet and unnoticed. Soon, this small ground-breaking idea had changed the bigger picture for consumption of short films in India.
In 2012, this vertical was re-branded and ‘Pocket Films’ was born. Today, Pocket Films is a one-stop destination for everything about ‘Short films & more’, a name to reckon with for award-winning short films, documentaries and independent films. Pocket Films was invited as a buyer at the Short Film Corner at Cannes 2014. In India, Pocket Films has a longstanding partnership with gala media and entertainment events and film bazaars such as FICCI Frames and NFDC’s Film Bazaar Goa.
Tell us about your team, if you have?
[Saameer Mody] We have a small team dedicated to ensuring greater visibility for our content. We have a team of 4 especially dedicated to managing the content and distributing across platforms. They are supported by a social media team and a small admin team. Saameer Mody is ably supported by his wife, Mrs. Shwetal Mody in growing Pocket Films and enabling it to achieve new highs.
What is your criteria of choosing films/ filmmakers?
[Saameer Mody] Our aim has always been of promoting the creators vision through his films on our platforms, however, with the increasing viewership for our films we also have to keep in mind the viewers’ preferences. Furthermore, we also need to ensure the documentation, copyrights, etc. before we approve any film. We have a system in place and each film has to go through the basic process to be selected for distribution.
What is your dream/ vision?
[Saameer Mody] Pocket Films’ constant endeavour is to be a catalyst in the short films, animated films, documentaries and independent films space as an aggregator, distributor and producer and place compelling alternate content by independent, upcoming and student filmmakers in India on the global map.
We have already broken into the conventional television space with our show ‘Prime Talkies with Pocket Films’ on NDTV Prime. We show selected short films from our catalogue in this weekly show. We now aim to see our short films screening regularly in theatres alongside mainstream films.
What difficulties you face in running Pocket[Saameer Mody] Films?
[Saameer Mody] – Attracting attention to the alternate content like short films and documentaries in a space where mainstream content is almost carpet bombing each and every medium of advertising and promotion.
– Low advertising rates (CPM) in the online distribution space which seems to be the primary space for such content to be visible.
– The approach of the film makers. They need to understand that ultimately content is king and the only reason why a viewer would be interested in his / her film is if the film has a different story which can engage with the audiences.
How can the filmmaking scene be improved in India?
[Saameer Mody] In today’s times it is easy to get the right equipment to create content, however, the most important is the story and the treatment. To improve the filmmaking scene we need good writing followed by crisp storytelling and editing.
Any fun/ memorable incident?
[Saameer Mody] There are a number of incidents however what I cherish most is when filmmakers are recognised by the industry and get career breaks / opportunities because their film was seen on our platform.
What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbee in filmmaking?
[Saameer Mody] Be Original, Be precise (brief), experiment and most importantly create something you want to create. As one progresses in this field, they have to give in to ‘suggestions’ and ‘inputs’ from others. Short films is the space to express yourself the way you want to. (But also keep in mind that you have to impress / engage the viewers for whom you are creating the content).
Anything else you’d like to share?
[Saameer Mody] We are in exciting times and short films are here to rule. These are times of specialisation. Creators should focus on what they do best and partner with the experts for distribution to be able to reach out to a wider audience.
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