There is no denying that the digital world is expanding with every passing day and it is certainly the future. And like every other aspect of life, we turn to it for entertainment as well. While Pakistan’s television and film industry continues to grow, there is a dearth of original, online local content which is needed in today’s time. Though some local online web series and short films have been recently made available to viewers in Pakistan, there hasn’t been a concrete platform to promote such content consistently. Considering this, director-producer Rafay Rashdi has decided to launch the first ever online streaming site in Pakistan that aims to be at par with international streaming giant, Netflix.
“We’re launching the first ever digital streaming website, called seeti.pk, which is currently in the works,” he told Instep exclusively. “This will be your prime portal for original online content. We’ll be targeting and producing content the way it is generated on other similar sites such as Netflix, Showtime, Amazon, etc. We have had initiatives to generate online content in the past in the form of webisodes and web series but it is getting lost because there is no platform to run them. Seeti.pk will launch, promote and execute such content and we assure that quality will not be compromised at any level.”
He informed Instep that while he is at the forefront of the entire process, being the CEO, there are two more people who are the backbone of this initiative. Abrar ul Hassan, festival director for 60 Seconds Film Festival and the recent PIFF 2018, and CEO at Morango Films, will serve as the Chief Development Officer while Danielle Sharaf, CEO at Switch ITC, is the Chief Operating Officer for Seeti.pk.
Reflecting on the initiative, Abrar ul Hasan shared, “At seeti.pk, we aim to offer disrupting content solutions that will guarantee growth for your content outlets and mark your presence on global digital sphere” while Danielle is of the view that “Seeti is a masalaydar disruption in Pakistan’s digital entertainment space. Through our community of Seetizens, we will be creating, curating and critiquing ‘Made in Pakistan’ like never before. Drop the popcorn, pick up a seeti.”
Coming back to Rafay, who was the producer for the recently concluded Pakistan International Film Festival 2018, he shares the idea behind the initiative and why it is needed in today’s time.
“Online content is the future,” he added. “While there is nothing against content on television and television programming, we have to compete with international standards that should bring Pakistan’s media industry to its front. For that, it is important that we also start producing and facilitating and providing viewers online content which opens up the door for lots of new people associated with the media industry. This has always been my goal to promote and take forward people who require a shot to move forward and showcase their skills and talent. We have to understand that with your television and film industry growing at a very very fast pace, the demand for actors, writers, producers and directors is increasing so there is a huge demand.”
“This area can be explored because it is necessary to exhibit different kinds of content. While television content revolves around social issues and various other ideas and concepts, online market is tailored for everyone. It also caters to youngster as they are online all the time and are in search of online content that entertains them. Their attention span is quite minimal so to have access to such content is vital for them in today’s digital age.”
While Rafay assures that exclusive online content will be available on seeti.pk, he also revealed that the site will cover all sorts of exclusive content related to the entertainment industry including news, film reviews, fashion, travelogues, etc., to make it more authentic. “We’ll have film critics onboard for reviews and ratings to streamline the process of criticism in Pakistan that can’t be all over the place,” he asserted.
Currently working on his second feature film, Rafay has been producing TV plays under the banner of Momal Productions after making his big screen directorial debut with Thora Jee Le in 2016. Some of the most popular productions include O’Rangreza, Main Maa Nahi Banna Chahti, Zun Mureed, Parchayee and Wo Aik Pal among others. As for Seeti.pk, Rafay unveiled that they plan to launch the site by the end of this month. “We hope it turns out to be a promising venture for everyone associated with the industry,” he concluded optimistically.