KARACHI: The digital sphere has grown by leaps and bounds. Over the past few years, more and more content-makers are utilising it to reach a worldwide audience. Services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and so many others are offering unique, entertaining and cheap content to millions. However, this is where Pakistan had been at a crossroads, with no online service to produce, curate and distribute original, local content.
Rafay Rashdi hopes to change that. The TV producer is introducing a service which, in his own words, “will pave the way for new online media to come forth.” Speaking with The Express Tribune, Rashdi said Seeti.pk is a digital portal which covers original online productions, similar to Netflix.
“We are the cusp of new emerging technologies which other countries have already evolved and moved on to. However, in Pakistan, there is still a gap and it’s not being fulfilled as of yet,” he explained. “Although TV itself has found its calling, is established, high up in the ranks and competing with international leaders, this (digital) area needs to be capitalised on. Seeti.pk offers this avenue and the stream of communication and media.”
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The portal will offer original short films, web series, as well as entertainment news, features, reviews, travelogues and discussions. “We will be taking baby steps initially, starting with one or two shows and then growing our collection,” said Rashdi, who serves as Seeti’s chief executive officer, and is one of its three stakeholders, the other two being the chief development officer Abrar ul Hasan (CEO at Morango Films and director of the first Pakistan International Film Festival) and chief operating officer Danielle Sharaf (also CEO at Switch ITC).
Hasan said the project will bring together different institutions, organisations and production houses. “We must promote the trend of valuing digital content so that we can use the digital sphere responsibly,” he stated. “Basically, this portal will promote the content in a trans-media way. We are on the track to create a digital platform that will help promote content produced by us as well as others.”
He shared that some of the future plans included incorporating an online ‘interactive café’ where people can talk, discuss and create a fraternity for sharing and exchanging ideas, stories, films and reviews, as well as connect with people from all over to encourage learning. “It’s not just a website which will give you information, but also promote the idea of an entertainment fraternity.”
Hasan added, “Down the line, we aim to commission young film-makers to make web series. We will offer a network for them where they will create content and disseminate through our website, initially. I say initially because it won’t be just one website but it will be a collaborative platform, not just limited to Pakistan but all South Asian diaspora.”
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On a last note, Rashdi talked about how there was no avenue for young talent and graduates, who after finishing their studies, don’t know what to do. This is where Seeti comes in. “It’s so competitive and difficult to get into the TV industry; it takes so many years to get a foot into the door. Meanwhile, the young, emerging talent has no place to showcase their talent. So rather than exhibiting their content on their own, which gets lost in the shuffle, we give them Seeti to come showcase their work here.”
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