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INOX expresses “extreme disappointment” over Bollywood films going to OTT, Producers Guild of India- Cinema express

INOX expresses “extreme disappointment” over Bollywood films going to OTT, Producers Guild of India defends decision 

Two major Bollywood films — Gulabo Sitabo and Shakuntala Devi — will release directly on Amazon Prime 

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Published: 15th May 2020

A day ago, it was announced that Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana’s Gulabo Sitabo will directly release on Amazon Prime Video on June 12, skipping its theatrical release. A similar announcement was made on Friday about Vidya Balan’s upcoming film Shakuntana Devi, also set to release on Prime. Additionally, the Tamil films Ponmagal Vandhal and Penguin, the Kannada titles Law and French Biryani and the Malayalam Sufiyum Sujatayum will also premiere on the platform. 

In an apparent reference to Gulabo Sitabo’s producers, multiplex chain INOX expressed its “extreme displeasure and disappointment” over the decision. 

“INOX would like to express extreme displeasure and disappointment on an announcement made by a production house today, to release their movie directly on an OTT platform by skipping the theatrical window run. The decision of the production house to deviate from the globally prevalent content windowing practice is alarming and disconcerting," the statement read. 

INOX also pointed out mutually beneficial partnership between cinemas and content creators, which now stands threatened. 

“In these troubled times, it is disturbing to see one of the partners not interested in continuing the mutually beneficial relationship, especially when the need of the hour is to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, and bring the film industry back to its vibrant best. Such acts, though isolated, vitiate the atmosphere of mutual partnership and paint these content producers as fair-weather friends rather than all-weather life-long partners.”

Responding to the criticism, the Producers Guild of India stated that the industry is facing hundreds of crores of losses, and that film producers are seeking out “all avenues available to recover their investment.” 

“...At time like this, it is disappointing to see abrasive and unconstructive messaging from some of our colleagues in the exhibition sector. Statements that call for “retributive measures” against producers who decide to take their movies direct to OTT platforms - especially at a time when cinemas are unfortunately closed for the foreseeable future - do not lend themselves to a constructive or collaborative dialogue on the way forward for the industry,” the GUILD’s statement read. 

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