- PVR has now expressed displeasure against the introduction of new film material on top (OTT) platforms after INOX before releasing in theatres.
PVR has now expressed displeasure against the introduction of new film material on top (OTT) platforms after INOX.
“We are saddened by the decision by some of our producers to go straight to the streaming platform / s. We hoped the producers would accede to our offer to hold back the release of their film until the cinemas reopened, “said Kamal Gianchandani, CEO of PVR Pictures.
He continued, “This is not the first time films are released on a streaming platform / s. During the past several years, the cinema exhibition has constantly encountered competition from new emerging distribution channels. Yet it has continued to enjoy patronage and affinity among cine-goers.
In the last couple of years, the controversy about whether OTTs would prove harmful to the cinema industry has come up several times. So far, though, nothing has changed for cinema. If video streaming services saw user base growth then theaters also saw footfall rise.
A theatrical release is the first choice for any filmmaker, too.
Adding to that, Gianchandani said, “As a PVR, we believe the theatrical release is the best way for viewers to witness our filmmakers’ work and artistic creativity. For decades this has been so, not only in India but globally. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has caused the cinemas to be unfortunately shut down. We are confident that once we get to the other side of this crisis, there would be enough and more pent-up demand from cine-goers who have been cooperating for the past several weeks in homes.
He also added, “I would also like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all the producers who have publicly expressed their support for the theatrical platform and agreed to reschedule their releases to accommodate the reopening of cinemas.”
The debate about direct to digital releases started with speculations about the release of Ponmagal Vandhal on OTT first. Speculations were put to rest when Amazon Prime revealed a slew of releases like Ponmagal Vandhal. Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Gulabo Sitabo are also released on the platform.
The Association of Tamil Nadu Theater and Multiplex had threatened to ban Suriya’s films if he took the digital route for his production of Ponmagal Vandhal.
Even India’s Multiplex Association had released a statement urging producers and creators of content to respect the theatrical window of 60 days before an OTT stream a film on its website.
Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) has written directly to the government about their concern about films being released on OTTs.
They said in their letter to the government, “If this happens (digital premieres), many people will be unemployed as around 9,000 single screens and multiplexes will be forced to shut down. EIMPA also pointed out that “Government would lose the revenue from GST coming from the cinema halls.”
Recently, INOX also issued a similar statement and asked filmmakers to wait for the theatrical release and then move to OTT platforms.