Mohanlal‘s upcoming Malayalam film Drishyam 2, which is set to release on Amazon Prime Video on February 19, will not be releasing in cinema halls in Kerala, the Kerala Film Chamber said.
Despite Mohanlal hinting that the film might get a theatrical release in Kerala after its OTT debut, the Kerala Film Chamber said that all Malayalam films that opt for a direct OTT release will not be allowed to run in theatres.
Talking to Silverscreen India, Vijayakumar, president of the Kerala Film Chamber said, “This decision has been taken not only for Drishyam 2 but in fact for all the films who are planning to go for an OTT release and then a theatrical release.”
“The particular film which has been sold exclusively to OTT platform, that film will not be shown in theatres. If the same actor or director releases their next film in theatres, that won’t be an issue,” he clarified.
Asked whether a big star’s film not getting a theatrical release will affect theatre owners, Vijayakumar said, “It does not matter if it’s a superstar or big star, any film that chooses OTT platform first, we don’t want to screen those films in the theatre. It affects the economy of the film theatres in Kerala. Actually, not only in Kerala but all over the world.”
Reiterating that the decision is not exclusively for one film only, he said that the association had made the decision in August 2020.
Suresh Shenoy, Shenoys Theatre Owner and treasurer of the Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala told Silverscreen India, “Drishyam 2 was a movie basically meant for a theatrical release. I don’t know what circumstances made the producer give it directly to OTT. In Kerala. the Film Chamber, the Producers’ Association, the Exhibitors’ Association and the Distributors’ Association, we had all taken the decision long back that during Covid time, any movie that is releasing in OTT directly will not be screened in the theatres. So it is based on this same decision that Drishyam 2, which is an OTT release, will not see a theatrical release in Kerala.”
However, he said that while the period for films to start streaming on a streaming app after a theatrical release is 42 days, one can submit a written request to the Film Chamber and ask for that duration to be reduced. “But, this cannot happen the other way round where a producer can release in OTT first and then ask for theatrical release permission from the Film Chamber,” he said.
Drishyam 2 is a sequel to the 2013 thriller, also directed by Jeethu Joseph. Produced by Antony Perumbavoor, under the banner of Aashirvad Cinemas, the cast of the prequel reprise their role in this film. The supporting cast includes Siddique, Asha Sharath, Murali Gopy, and Saikumar.