Vivaan Shah, Veer Rajwant Singh , Sangeeta Dutta discuss Books to OTT, Cinema and Social Media on the Final Day of the 15th AKLF

Kolkata, February 13, 2024: In the final session of Day 3 at the 15th Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, actors Vivaan Shah and Veer Rajwant Singh and writer Sangeeta Dutta discussed the art of adaptation, with a specific focus on how books can be translated across movies, social media, and the OTT. Speaking to moderator Ushoshi Sengupta, all three experts in their respective fields discussed how books have found a place across ages through different forms of dissemination. The session was titled, ‘When Words Take Wing.’


The speakers acknowledged how we live in an era where content is king and how the present day is the best time to create new stories, whether through adaptation or original storytelling. Speaking on their experience of working in or with adaptations, Vivaan Shah said, “The most interesting aspect of working in adaptations is getting to translate my imagination and acting it out in real life.” On the other hand, Sangeeta Dutta said, “There are no hard and fast rules about adaptations. No matter how far apart they are in time, there’s always some space left for the scriptwriter’s vision.”

Continuing with the discussion on contemporizing older works through adaptations, Veer Rajwant Singh brought forth the example of Vishal Bharadwaj. He said, ‘’There can never be a better adaptation than that of Maqbool or Omkara as done by Vishal Bharadwaj Sir.” All panellists and moderators present agreed upon this comment. The central argument was how each adaptation brings a new flavour, a new sense of refreshment to an original story. Sangeeta Datta added, “In my opinion, The two best adaptations have been The Color Purple and The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

Agreeing to the concept of each adaptation bringing something new, Veer Rajwant Singh agreed that even while adapting for social media or OTT content, the director and the scriptwriter have the right to bring forth their visualizations. Speaking on social media and its impact on content creation, everyone agreed that while we seldom have control over what we consume, it is simultaneously a great place to put out new versions of better stories. Sangeeta Dutta said, “I would love to write a novel based on The Three of Us, an exceptional story on OTT.” When asked whether it was challenging to churn out content for social media, Veer Rajwant Singh added, “It’s a choice you have to make.” On adaptations, he further said, “Whatever is written is universal. Whatever is read is personal.” Meaning there’s always more space left for personal interpretations to continue.

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