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Producer council support Suriya's decision to release movie on OTT platform

In the midst of profound uncertainty over whether audiences would feel good walking into cinema halls even months down the line, film makers...

Producer council supports Suriya's decision to release movie on OTT platform
In the midst of profound uncertainty over whether audiences would feel good walking into cinema halls even months down the line, film makers in Tamil Nadu, who had been planning to cash in on theatrical releases during the lucrative summer months of April and May, are now searching for different approaches to get their cash's worth.

In an unexpected move, actor Suriya's creation house, 2D Entertainment, settled on Saturday that Jyothika-starrer Pon Magal Vandhal, initially scheduled to hit the screens in March, will be released directly on Amazon Prime Video in the first week of May. Industry sources said the film had been offered to Amazon Prime Video for ₹5 crore.

This decision, however, didn't go down well with the theatre owners, with the general secretary of the association, R Panneerselvam condemning the production house's "hasty" decision in a video that was released on social media on Saturday. Stressing that films made for theatrical release, as a policy, must never opt for digital releases, he even threatened to never allow a theatre release of any film involving Suriya, and his production house.

The tug of war between exhibitors and film makers has been going on since the time the dawn of digital platforms, armed with huge cash reserves, entered the film industry. In this situation, 30 film producers from the Tamil Nadu Film Producers' Council have now come up with a joint statement, supporting the OTT release of small/medium budged movies.

Disagreeing with the statement made by the theatre and multiplex owners, producer G. Dhananjayan said, “It is the right of the producer to decide how to cash in on the film. Even big Bollywood movies like Akshay Kumar’s Laxmmi Bomb and Sooryavanshi are likely to be released directly on OTT platforms. If theatre owners can decide which films should be screened and how many shows a film should get — small films don’t get screens — then producers should have the freedom to exploit their product in any way they see fit.”

Rajsekar Pandian, director and co-producer, 2D Entertainment, declined to comment on the matter as the producers’ council was likely to give its response. Minister for Information and Publicity Kadambur Raju on Sunday said the State government will facilitate talks between producers and cinema owners to arrive at a mutual agreement on the issue.

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