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Stranger than fiction

Posted May 30th, 2019, 10:03 AM IST

Stranger than fiction

You probably already know that video streaming is huge on the web these days. There are so many trends to keep track of on the internet, and obviously, not all of them are worth your time. But if you enjoy watching videos online, tuning into a good web series or two could be a great addition to your current entertainment preferences. While most of the web series available on Netflix, YouTube or other platforms are fictionalised, documentaries that are aired as series are also getting acceptance. Still not explored like in the West, documentary series are for those who love reality and truth than fiction. Dream Big is a documentary web series by G Band and they are on a mission to popularise the docu-web series culture here.

Director of the series, Jinto Thomas, who has been working as associate director in Mollywood for a few years, says he finds more satisfaction while directing this documentary based on real-life events, than working on commercial films. “If you believe that truth is often stranger than fiction, and if you love true stories or even alternative media for that matter, it’s very likely you’re in for good documentaries. And why shouldn’t you be? There are so many out there. And G Band or God’s Band is bringing a series of documentaries that are less than 10 minutes long on YouTube. We have already done three episodes of Dream Big and we are working on the fourth one now.”

Documentary series are not ranked in any way because that’s a hugely subjective thing. Popular YouTube series like The Vice are a prime example proving documentary series are the next big thing. Dream Big wanted to keep it simple and very straight forward without any drama, just like them. They started with the life story of Vysakh S.R., the amputee volleyball and football player of India. “His life may sound very tragic, but the way he defeated all odds and came back was such an inspiration and I decided to start off the series featuring him,” says Jinto. “Vyshakh is a 24-year-old amputee athlete from Kozhikode. Despite his limitations, he managed to get a place in Kerala’s amputee volleyball team. He is also a great footballer and has been selected to the Indian football team. I wanted to share his story to the world and since the release of the first episode, I have been receiving a lot of positive responses. So, I was confident that there is a specific audience for web documentaries.”

The second episode of the series was about M.A. Johnson, an inspiring personality who defeated his disabilities with his will power and constant effort. “Though Johnson was infected by polio and was bedridden at an early age, he did not allow his dreams to be buried because of his condition. Now, he is a successful entrepreneur in electronics industry.”

When quizzed about the production works, Jinto says that one cannot expect any big financial gain from it and it is a project brought out by friends. The writing and direction is done by Jinto himself and he has a circle of friends who are ready to help him to find subjects for the series. Most of the technicians associated with the series are from the film industry. “We are all committed towards society and wanted to bring out some inspiring stories for everyone. We know there won’t be much financial gain, but we still contribute to each episode,” adds Jinto.

Jinto and G Band are working on their next episode, which will be about Sreedhanya IAS, the first tribal woman from Kerala to have cleared the exam. She secured the 410th rank in her third attempt. “We have had a great session with her and the filming went well. Filming the fourth episode about her was truly inspiring and we can’t wait to release the video.” The episode is expected to be aired before the second week of June.

Jinto, a resident of Kozhikode is professionally qualified in direction and dreaming of directing a feature film in the near future. But he would like to do a project that has something to offer to society.