In a landmark moment for the Indian web series, Panchayat 2, the heartwarming Hindi comedy-drama, secured the prestigious first-ever OTT Award for Web Series at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa. The series, available on Amazon Prime Video, skillfully directed by Deepak Kumar Mishra and penned by Chandan Kumar, takes viewers on an intricate journey through the rustic charm and challenges of rural life.
Set in the remote fictional village of Phulera in Uttar Pradesh‘s Ballia district, Panchayat 2 follows the story of Abhishek Tripathi, an urban graduate reluctantly thrust into the role of Secretary at a dilapidated Panchayat Office. The second season delves deeper into Abhishek’s life in Phulera, intertwining the nuances of village politics with his aspirations for a corporate future. Amidst the humour and relatable moments, the series candidly portrays the daily trials of village life, shedding light on Abhishek’s evolving relationships with characters like Pradhan, Vikas, Prahlad, and Manju Devi while tackling diverse village issues.
The recognition at the IFFI comes on the heels of the show’s successful debut season, showcasing the growing influence and popularity of Indian content on global streaming platforms. The Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shr. Anurag Thakur acknowledged the booming OTT industry in India during the inaugural function. He emphasized that original Indian content is not only gaining immense traction but also providing employment opportunities for thousands of individuals. The OTT Awards were introduced to honour exceptional digital content creators, reflecting the sector’s dynamic annual growth rate of 28%.
Panchayat 2 faced stiff competition at the IFFI, contending with notable nominations such as Rocket Boys Season 1 by Abhay Pannu, Nirmal Pathak Ki Ghar Wapsi by Rahul Pandey & Satish Nair, and Human directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah & Mozez Singh. The Jury Panel, while recognizing Panchayat 2’s brilliance, also unanimously recommended a special mention for Rocket Boys Season 1, streamed on Sony Liv.
The competition itself was fierce, with 32 entries spanning 10 languages from 15 OTT platforms. This diversity highlights the richness of storytelling across India’s varied cultural landscape and underscores the growing significance of the OTT medium.
Panchayat 2’s triumph at the IFFI not only signifies a win for the creators and cast but also underscores the power of storytelling in bridging gaps between urban and rural narratives.