Cinema Chains Are Miffed As Filmmakers Release Films On OTT Amid Lockdown

Recently, several filmmakers announced that their films will be released on OTT platforms which were earlier aiming for theatrical release. This includes Vidya Balan’s film ‘Shakuntala Devi’ and Ayushmann Khurrana and Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Gulabo Sitabo’. This announcement has left cinema owners disappointed. Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures said, “We are disappointed with some of our producers deciding to go straight to the streaming platform/s. We were hoping that the producers would accede to our request to hold back their film’s release till cinemas reopen.” He further added, “This is not the first time when films are being premiered on a streaming platform/s. Cinema exhibition has regularly faced competition from new emerging distribution platforms over the last many years. Yet, it has continued to enjoy cine-goers patronage and affinity.” INOX also expressed its disappointment over the same. Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) wrote to the government, “If the digital premieres continue to happen, there will be unemployment for many people as around 9,000 single screens and multiplexes will be forced to shut down.” However, Producers Guild still supports the release of films on digital platforms. Filmmaker Hansal Mehta said, “Right now it is a battle for survival. If producers survive exhibitors will thrive. Live and let live. The producers and the director want the best for their film. One wants investments to be protected, the other wants her/his film to be experienced by maximum people over the longest duration of time. Why should exhibitors feel threatened? You win some, you lose some…” Well, we now have to see if the culture of cinema hall manages to survive or will it die a painful death!

16th May 2020 | 05:33 PM (IST)