‘Smaller films can opt for direct-to-digital premiere’

Producers of small and medium-budget films can go for a direct-to-digital premiere to recuperate their investments following the uncertainty over the reopening of cinemas amid the pandemic, in accordance with the Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA).

The producers’ physique is of the view that such films could face a sub-optimal showcasing when cinemas reopen in view of the appreciable backlog of films awaiting launch. “The OTT (over-the-top) release will not be feasible for big-budget movies, taking into account the gaps in the return on investment compared to a theatrical release,” stated B. Rakesh, treasurer of the KFPA, on Saturday. “Smaller films will be in a better position to recover the investment while going for a direct release on the digital platform,” he added.

“The direct OTT release of smaller movies will not have a major dent on the prospects of the exhibitors. Majority of the producers agree that the cinematic experience of a theatrical release cannot be replaced by the digital platforms,” stated Mr. Rakesh.

G. Suresh Kumar, former president, KFPA, stated there had been no official affirmation but on the direct-to-digital launch of Malayalam films, apart from Sufiyum Sujathayum. “It seems discussions are being carried out by intermediaries on behalf of the producers who are ready for a direct digital release. The intermediaries will also claim a share of the pie once the OTT deal is secured,” he stated.

On the monetary impression of the COVID-19 outbreak, Mr. Rakesh stated films value greater than ₹350 crore in funding had been affected. “Nearly 20 movies are ready for release when the cinemas open. Twenty-five to 30 films are in various stages of post-production,” he stated.

Mr. Rakesh stated the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce had convened a gathering of producers, distributors, and exhibitors on May 27 to chalk out the best way ahead and to hunt aid from the federal government to tide over the COVID-19 disaster.

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