The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

ISKCON Television Begins Production on Cell-Phone Mini Shows

By: on Sept. 3, 2010
Renowned Bollywood Director Shashilal Nair works with his editor on an ITV production.
ISKCON Television (ITV) India is producing a series of three to five-minute shows for the mobile phone format, featuring spiritual discourses on the Bhagavad-gita by senior ISKCON devotees and Swamis.

The shows will be aimed at the general public, and will be available in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Sindhi, and all other major Indian languages.

Based in Mumbai, ITV India launched in 1981 with its first feature film, Haridas Thakura—based on the life of the famous Vaishnava saint and champion of the Holy Name. From 1998 on, the company produced more than 4,000 hours of spiritual television content, broadcasting on channels like StarTV, Sony TV, ETC, Sanskar, and Astha.

This included many documentaries, such as Char Dham—about the holy places of Jagannath Puri, Badrinath, Rameshwaram, and Dwarka—and Khirochora Gopinath, about the Orissan Deity worshipped by Vaishnava saint Madhavendra Puri. More recently, it has also included live telecasts of festivals and events at ISKCON temples on the satellite channel Tata Sky.

The new mobile phone series will be similar to ITV’s show Aatma, broadcast on the nationally and internally successful channel Colors—known as Aapka Colors in the US.

While work has begun already, the show will be fully launched in 2012, in collaboration with Irfan Khan of Neuron Mediatech and Amit Dev of Third Generation Mobile Ltd.

The shows will be distributed by reputed companies like Mauj, Tata Indicom, Vodafone, Aircel, Timesmusic, and Moserbear.

Using a world class production, post production and mastering infrastructure, ITV is also enlisting the services of major Bollywood director Shashilal Nair and editor Santosh Singh for the series.

“Mobile TV is the big future for the small screen,” says ITV producer and director Haridas. “It’s the next technology boom, and we want to make sure we’re part of it.”

Consumers will be able to access the shows through their regular service providers such as Vodafone. The shows will be offered across the world as well as in India, and across different platforms, such as the Internet, as well as mobile phones.

ITV will also launch a dedicated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for spiritual content—the same techhnology that automates interactions with telephone callers.

“Back in 1975, I would capture Srila Prabhupada with my small camera everywhere from Mexico to Los Angeles to India,” Haridas says. “Then one day, he came up to me and asked me to stop this and make a movie on Lord Krishna instead. And he said he would direct it himself. That’s what inspired me to start this ITV enterprise. For me, Lord Krishna is the producer and Srila Prabhupada is the director. That is the secret to our success!”

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