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Kerala theatre owners disappointed over OTT releases

Kerala theatre owners disappointed over OTT releases

Thiruvananthapuram: Though the state government announced the reopening of film theatres across the state from next week, the owners find no reason to rejoice as most of the film producers have already committed their projects for Over the Top (OTT) release.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced on Friday the opening of movie theatres in the state from January 5. Theatres will be allowed to function with only half of their strengths and tickets for only half of the strength will be sold. Chief minister also said that stringent action will be taken against Cinema theatres if they violate Covid protocol, the Chief Minister said.

Drishyam 2, on which the theatre owners were pinning hopes, will be released on Amazon Prime Video, the film's director Jeethu Joseph said on Saturday.

Jeethu Joseph said the film's producer Antony Perumbavoor had spoken to him on the OTT release and it is expected that the film will receive a wider audience.Post production work is expected to be completed in a month''s time.

Amazon will decide about the film's release date, he said, adding "we will hand over the film''s content by the end of January".

"Drishyam 2" is the sequel of the hit crime thriller "Drishyam" released in 2013 and was made in several languages.

Theatre owner and Producer Liberty Basheer came out against the decision, saying it would hit theatre owners hard. Release of many films have been held up due to COVID-19, he said.

"Since the last 10 months, theatres havebeen closed and we were hoping that Drishyam 2 will draw back audiences to the theatres once they open," he said.

The decision to release the film on the OTT platform was shocking, he said.

The theatre owners are wary of their future as most of them are seriously hit by a 10-month hiatus due to Covid 19 pandemic curbing measures.

It is learnt that most of the production houses have signed deals with the video platform giants like Amazon, Hotstar and Netflix, as the reopening of the theatres seemed to be a distant possibility.

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TAGS:OTT Kerala Theatres 
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