With theatres shut in Kerala due to pandemic, more Malayalam movies are likely to go the OTT way
Producer Anto Joseph has written to Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala and Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation informing them of his plan to launch his productions ‘Malik’ and ‘Cold Case’ instantly in OTT platforms
With cinema theatres in Kerala anticipated to stay closed for some more time, producers of a few of the big-budget Malayalam movies that had been earlier set for a theatrical launch are now mulling a launch in Over The Top (OTT) platforms.
Producer Anto Joseph has written to the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) and the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation informing them of his plan to launch his productions Malik and Cold Case instantly in OTT platforms.
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Malik, directed by Mahesh Narayanan and starring Fahadh Faasil, was initially slated for launch on May 13, together with Priyadarshan’s Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, starring Mohanlal. However, with the cinema theatres in Kerala downing their shutters in April following the second wave of COVID-19, the launch plans had to be shelved indefinitely. Cold Case, directed by Tanu Balak and starring Prithviraj, was additionally preparing for launch.
Confirming the growth, FEUOK President K. Vijayakumar instructed The Puucho that contemplating the uncertainty relating to the reopening of theatres, the exhibitors’ physique determined not to object to the producer’s determination. The FEUOK had in the previous opposed strikes by producers to get a direct OTT launch.
“It is not right on our part to ask the producers to keep the movies on hold till the theatres reopen. Our only condition was that the producer should return the deposits owed to a few exhibitors. Anto Joseph’s Malik was set to release on May 13. Further delay in release could create financial pressures for the producer. We will not object to any film producer choosing to release their films on OTT platforms, until the government gives us permission to reopen the theatres. But, there are a couple of big films for which the exhibitors have paid huge advance amounts. We will not allow these to be released directly on OTT,” stated Mr. Vijayakumar.
Selective about content material
Kerala Film Producers Association president M. Renjith stated that fairly a number of producers need to go the OTT way, however main gamers like Netflix and Amazon Prime are very selective about the content material they buy.
“These platforms do not have any compulsion that they need to have a specific number of new films from a language or that they should have a release every Friday. They buy outright only the big films that are sure to make revenue. Also, the current profit-sharing model is not very favourable for smaller producers. In the past one year, they have bought only about 10 Malayalam movies,” stated Mr.Renjith.
Although the movie our bodies have deliberate an OTT platform on their very own, viability nonetheless stays a query, as a few of the smaller gamers are visibly struggling in the market.
“For people to subscribe in large numbers, we should have quite a few films that they would like to watch. Even if one or two films get viewers, it will not sustain in the long run. So, the idea of a platform of our own is still being thought about,” says Mr. Renjith.
The first direct to OTT launch in Malayalam occurred a yr again, on July 3, when Shanavas Naranipuzha’s Sufiyum Sujathayum was launched on Amazon Prime.
Over the previous yr, fairly a handful of main releases, together with Drishyam, Joji, The Great Indian Kitchen and C U Soon have been launched instantly to these platforms, garnering viewers from different States as effectively.