On Sunday, more than 30 Tamil film producers issued a joint statement supporting the release of small and medium budget films directly in the OTT platforms.
“With the development of OTT (Over the Top) technology, many new films started coming out world- wide directly on this platform. Post the lockdown due to Corona in the country, many OTT platforms have started acquiring small and medium budget films for direct OTT premiere, which we all have to welcome wholeheartedly,” the statement said.
The statement was signed by director Bharathirajaa, Sathya Jyothi Films’ T.G. Thyagarajan , K. Muralidharan, K.E. Gnanavel Raja, K.E. Gnanavel Raja, Lyca Tamil Kumaran, G. Dhananjayan, S.R. Prabhu among others.
The statement comes in the wake of a recent controversy surrounding the release of Jyothika’s upcoming movie ‘Pon Magal Vandhal’.
Last week, rumors broke out that Jyothika’s actor-husband Suriya, whose production house 2D Entertainment has bankrolled the movie, has decided to launch the movie on OTT platform bypassing the theatrical release. It received sharp reactions from distributors and film exhibitors who are against this move.
In a video statement, the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Association general secretary Panneerselvam warned that Suriya’s films will not be released in theatres if the actor goes ahead with his decision to release Jyothika’s movie in the OTT platform.
However, the producer fraternity argued that producers have the freedom to decide on how they planned to release their films.
“A Film Producer who has invested his money, has all the rights to exploit his film in every possible way by selling the rights available for his film, to recover his Investment so that he or she can continue in the film business,” the statement said.
“For the film industry to operate smoothly, the three key stakeholders, producers, distributors and theatre owners, must work together in unison and take decisions in the best interest of the industry,” the statement added.
The producers also urged that, once this lockdown due to Corona is lifted, all the stakeholders and office bearers of all associations must meet, discuss and arrive at a feasible solution for all the issues including on OTT release of new films, for the benefit and welfare of Tamil film industry.
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime is believed to have got the OTT rights of Pon Magal Vandhal and the movie will premiere on the platform on May 1.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown came as a severe blow to the Tamil film industry. Movies scheduled for April and May release such as Vijay’s Master and Suriya’s were all stuck up due to theatre shutdown.
The cancellation of movie shootings due to lockdown have also left thousands of film technicians, mostly daily wage labourers, indefinitely jobless.