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Producers of Kannada star films to opt for direct OTT releases?- Cinema express

Producers of Kannada star films to opt for direct OTT releases?

The current 50 per cent occupancy induced by the pandemic, new demands from theatre owners, and a few other problems have reportedly pushed producers to consider this option

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Published: 07th January 2021

Have Kannada producers, bankrolling films of big stars, decided to take the digital route? The current 50 per cent occupancy induced by the pandemic, the new set of demands by the theatre owners, and a few other problems have reportedly pushed the producers to consider this option. 

Producers like Vijay Kiragandur, KP Srikanth, Jayanna, Surappa Babu, BK Gangadhar, Manjunath Gowda, Umapathy S and Karthik Gowda met at a private hotel on Wednesday and are looking at OTT platforms as an alternative. The producers are worried because theatre owners are demanding the abolishment of the earlier trade policy of rentals and are demanding shares in the collections instead. This feels unacceptable to the producers. "The current demand of the theatre owners will eat into the collections. We are okay with releasing the films as per the earlier norm," said one of the producers who was present at the meeting.

"Considering the kind of crisis we are facing, we won’t be able to meet the theatre owners’ demand. So, we have no option but to head to streaming platforms, who are ready to pay a good amount for star films," he added.

The films that are getting ready for release this year include Darshan's Roberrt, produced by Umapathy, Puneeth Rajkumar's Yuvarathnaa, and Yash-starrer, KGF Chapter 2, produced by Vijay Kiragandur. Other star films slated for release in 2021 are Sudeep's Kotigobba 3, produced by Surappa Babu; Dhruva Sarja's Pogaru, produced by BK Gangadhar; Bhajarangi 2, made under Jayanna Films; Raskhit Shetty's 777 Charlie; and KP Srikanth's Salaga.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government allowed 100 per cent seating in cinema halls ahead of the release of new films for Pongal. The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Telugu film industry, have appealed to their respective state governments to allow the operation of cinemas with 100 per cent occupancy in their states as well.

However, the TN government order was rebuked by the centre for going against the MHA pandemic guidelines.

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