Renowned filmmaker and film critic from Assam, Utpal Borpujari, who has served on various film juries in the past, has been chosen to be a part of the five-member jury for the Best Web Series (OTT) award at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which began in Goa on November 20.
Apart from Borpujari, the five member jury panel includes noted filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who heads the panel, filmmaker Krishna DK, actors Divya Dutta and Prosenjit Chatterjee.
The country has seen a surge in the production and consumption of web series across various genres and platforms, leading to multiple series gaining significant popularity and critical appreciation among viewers and critics.
At the 52nd edition of IFFI, OTT entries were included in different sections for the first time. In the last two years, premieres of web series and sessions by teams of web shows like ‘The Family Man’, ‘Mirzapur’ and ‘Fauda’ have received great response, virtually leading to the introduction of the new award category, which recognises OTT’s pivotal role in the Indian Media and Entertainment industry.
A total of 32 entries across 10 languages from 15 OTT platforms will be competing for the Best Web Series (OTT) Award at the festival. The award will be presented to a show for its “artistic merit, storytelling excellence, technical prowess, and overall impact”, as has been announced by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Certificates and a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh will be given as prize money to the winning series, which will be announced in the closing ceremony.
Utpal Borpujari’s documentary film ‘Baruar Xongxar’ (The House of Baruas), produced by Nayan Prasad, Jemini Phukan and Dibyajyoti Saharia under the banner of the socio-cultural organization Surjya and Jemini Phukan Production, will also have its world premiere at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, as part of the prestigious Indian Panorama section on November 22. Utpal Borpujari has previously won the Swarna Kamal for Best Film Critic in 2003, and the National Award in 2018 for his debut feature film ‘Ishu’.