Monday saw the grand announcement by Disney+ Hotstar that the streaming platform will be premiering seven major Bollywood films over the next few months and, within hours, the Carnival Cinemas group has come out to express “disappointment” with the trend of digital release of Bollywood films.
Without taking names, Carnival Cinemas CEO Mohan Umrotkar said in a statement: “We stand by our previous statement. It is very disappointing that the filmmakers are opting digital first route when we are just steps away from the theatrical releases with the reopening of cinema halls across the country with all the necessary precautions.”
“The economy is reopening and malls have already opened. They just need to have some more faith and patience to hold the content for the big screens, that is what it was made for.”
“During the lockdown we have participated in many surveys to realize that the audience is waiting for cinemas to reopen. For the entertainment industry to flourish everyone needs to stand by each other. And if films made for theaters release directly on streaming platforms it may hamper the overall growth of the ecosystem.”
Last month, Carnival Cinemas had issued a statement that said: “Though we are disappointed with the move of filmmakers to go straight to digital, we understand the financial burden/compulsion that one may have in these times…The situation is such that you cannot blame anyone. In this time of uncertainty some producers have decided to release their content directly on OTT. It is within their rights to decide but we will not release those movies in our theatres.”
On Monday afternoon it was announced that seven Bollywood movies will be releasing directly on an OTT platform. These are the Akshay Kumar-starrer “Laxmmi Bomb”, Ajay Devgn’s “Bhuj: The Pride Of India”, “Sadak 2” starring Alia Bhatt, Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film “Dil Bechara”, “The Big Bull” starring Abhishek Bachchan, Vidyut Jammwal-starrer “Khuda Haafiz” and “Lootcase” featuring Kunal Kemmu.
Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn on Friday took to Twitter to share a fan art video comprising sketches of his various photographs. The clip shows sketches of some of the major characters portrayed by the versatile actor.
Posting the clip, the 51-year-old expressed his gratitude to the makers of the sketch and said, “These look fantastic. Great effort from all of you. @rishinotsaint @sketchersdiary #VishalPatil #AkshayChavan @bijoydasart #VinayShinde #NitinHerekar @AviVinay.”
Soon after uploading the footage, it garnered reactions from his fans and followers, with more than 5,000 people hitting like to the post.
Ajay’s fans and admirers also dropped comments appreciating the actor. See some of the comments:
Earlier, on the World Environment Day, the Shivaay actor shared a photo with his son Yug to mark the day. “Nurture Nature. Preserve our PLANET. Mother Earth is as sensitive as you & I are. #WorldEnvironmentDay,” read the caption.
Ajay has a number of movies in his kitty and the list includes Chhalaang, The Big Bull, Maidaan, Golmaal 5, Kaithi Remake and Bhuj: The Pride Of India. Recently, reports were doing the rounds on social media that he was planning to release Bhuj: The Pride of India and The Big Bull on OTT platforms.
There was a buzz in sections of the media that Kangana Ranaut’s much-anticipated film Thalaivi might take OTT route.
Last Updated: June 5, 2020, 7:53 AM IST
With so many films going direct to OTT, bypassing traditional theatrical release, there was a buzz in sections of the media that Kangana Ranaut’s much-anticipated film Thalaivi might also take the same route.
However, going by what the actress has to say about the issue in a pinkvilla.com report, it is clear that Thalaivi is cut out for a big-screen release.
Asked about her opinion on the direct-to-OTT trend, and if she is okay with the idea, Kangana said: “It depends. For example, a film like ‘Thalaivi’ just can’t release on digital because it is such a massive scale film, neither a movie like ‘Manikarnika’ is a digital space film. But yes, films like ‘Panga’, ‘Judgementall Hai Kya’ also cater to that audience. The way the film is made, it is very digital-friendly. They have recovered huge costs through digital itself. So, it depends.”
The Pinkvilla report also quoted her as saying: “For ‘Thalaivi’, it is a bilingual film. As a matter of fact, the film is sold to both Netflix and Amazon in both Hindi and Tamil for around Rs 55 crore.”
Actress-producer Anushka Sharma is over the moon with the raving reviews her debut web production Paatal Lok has received. She doesn’t just want to credit any particular thing and says it’s everyone’s victory together.
“When we were making the show we weren’t thinking of it to be the best show, we were just trying to tell a story and we just wanted to stay true to the story. Today when the show is getting appreciated on these lines it makes us feel very happy that it is being called the best show that India has ever produced.” Anushka told IANS in tete-a-tete.
She added that she and her brother Karnesh, right from the beginning, were always “inspired by the work that was happening throughout the world”.
“OTT platforms allow you to kind of sample the content that is being created world over in Ireland, Turkey, America, Israel, United Kingdom. It enables you to see the content creators all over the world and the work that they do and we would obviously get very inspired by that and always desire to create that kind of content, which can inspire people and which we felt very inspired through.”
As soon as the show aired, Anushka received a barrage of messages from friends and colleagues.
“Today, when we get calls from so many of our colleagues and filmmakers that they felt inspired after watching ‘Paatal Lok’, it makes us feel that we have done something that was truly inspiring,” Anushka said.
“It is because of the team that worked on the project. It is because of the writing, the actors, the technicians who worked on it — everybody coming together and being on the same page. That is the reason the show is being called what it is being called. As a producer that’s what makes me feel the happiest that every aspect of the show that you have backed has got its appreciation.”
Anushka, who has already bankrolled ventures like NH10, Phillauri and Pari, says the reason she stepped into the exciting world of digital content is because the space allows filmmakers to express freely.
“I see the OTT platform as an opportunity for filmmakers and groups of individuals to be able to touch upon stories and ideas you can explore in a longer format with the show, which you can’t do with the film. Sometimes you want to flesh out details of a story, and introduce every aspect of it in a way that is relevant and interesting to an audience, something which is different. It also allows you to express yourself freely, because of the nature of the platform and its audience,” Anushka told IANS.
She stressed that the OTT platform has always been an avenue “which was interesting to us producers.”
“The other thing is that as producers we don’t restrict ourselves, we just want to be able to send out stories and ideas. I can say there are two different platforms now in India, you have the OTT platforms and you have your theatrical releases, and I think you can choose and decide where you want to put out what. That kind of liberty is something that we have taken advantage of.”
With interesting content coming on the web space, does she see the digital space taking over the regular cinemagoing experience?
“I believe that the OTT platforms are a great introduction to us because it enables us to say a story in an in a fleshed-out manner. One can really get in the many aspects of the story and touch upon various topics within the framework of one story,” said the actress, who is married to Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.
Liberty is one thing that the platform offers, she feels.
“I think that kind of liberty you do not have with feature film, but at the same time there are films which are being produced specifically made for the OTT platform. I feel one needs to keep in mind the content, idea and story which is being presented on the OTT platform,” she said.
At the same time, she says that the movie-going experience will not fade away.
“We Indians as people — are culturally people who love to celebrate together. We love doing things as part of a community. So we will always be interested in doing something collectively as a community. It (the big screen) is an outing experience with family and I don’t see that going out. We are not independent as people, that’s just who we are culturally. I think movies will always continue to be,” she said.
Anushka feels that the theatregoing experience and OTT platforms will co-exist together.
“The only difference that is going to happen — and it’s a natural progression with changing times — is maybe we will now have to start thinking as producers, as filmmakers, what content is to be made for which platform. So stories will probably be more befitting for the OTT platform, and the experience of the theatres can never ever be replaced by the OTT platforms. So I believe that they will manage to exist together,” she said.