Recently, it was confirmed that Jyotika starrer Ponmagal Vadhal will be directly hitting the Over-The-Top (OTT) platform, Amazon Prime, without seeing a theatrical release. This decision came in the light of financial constraints of the makers, Suriya‘s 2D Entertainment, and for the simple reason that it would not be allotted enough screens once the lockdown ends and theatres open up, given the number of big-budget films that are awaiting a release.
The confirmation came through a video statement from the General Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association, R Panneer Selvam. He announced that the association has decided to not release any film involving actor Suriya or his home production banner 2D Entertainment hereafter, after its appeal to the production house to release the film in theatres before making its digital debut went unheeded.
The General Secretary of the #TamilNadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association, R Panneer Selvam, has announced that their association has decided to not release any film involving actor #Suriya or his home production banner #2DEntertainment hereafter.#PonMagalVandhal pic.twitter.com/FQtHMzkhKF
— Silverscreen.in (@silverscreenin) April 24, 2020
While the first to react to the video were fans who were also concerned about the bigger releases of the year, a group of producers from down South followed with a statement supporting the decision taken by 2D Entertainment.
A statement from 30+ film producers supporting the direct release of small and medium budget films on the #OTT platform.
They have also requested all film related associations to extend their cooperation and to not take decisions that would hamper the business of any producer. pic.twitter.com/7gbytMGtDq
— Silverscreen.in (@silverscreenin) April 26, 2020
They said that it is in the hands of the producer to decide where a film should be released and it is the duty of other film-related associations to support the decision made instead of opposing it vehemently. They also added that in difficult times like these, it is better for such small budget and medium budget films to hit the digital platform directly instead of struggling for screens in theatres.
They also listed out the benefits of the OTT platform and mentioned how other industries are welcoming the change to help investors who chip in a great deal of money. “Already film producers in Hindi, Telugu and other languages are trying to sell their films for direct OTT premiere in order to somehow recover their investment. If small and medium budget films get premiered through OTT, the number of such films waiting to release in theatres shall reduce. The other films can release properly too. Like that there are so many benefits we can enjoy by allowing the OTT premiere of small-medium budget films and hence this step by OTT players must be welcomed by all of us. We must request OTT players to acquire many small and medium budget films, which are struggling to release or stuck due to this lockdown(sic),” read the statement.
— LetsOTT GLOBAL (@LetsOTT) April 24, 2020
The statement signed by more than 30 producers which included Bharathiraja, KE Gnanavel Raja, TG Thyagarajan, T Siva, Chithra Lakshmanan, YNOT S Sashikanth, G Dhananjayan, SR Prabhu, Rajasekar Pandian (co-producer of Ponmagal Vandhal), JSK Sathish Kumar, CV Kumar, Suresh Kamatchi, Manobala, Subbu Panchu, Radha Ravi, Auraa Cinemas Mahesh, and several others also laid emphasis on being united in this situation.
It added, “We also request that, once this lockdown due to Corona is lifted, all the stakeholders and office bearers of all associations must meet, discuss and arrive at a feasible solution for all the issues before us, including on OTT release of new films, for the benefit and welfare of the Tamil film industry.”
It is noteworthy that JSK Sathish Kumar, who is also a part of the list of producers, had tweeted prior to the release of the statement that he supports the decision taken by 2D Entertainment. Rajasekar Pandian had thanked him for the same.
— Rajsekar Pandian (@rajsekarpandian) April 25, 2020
Ponmagal Vandhal helmed by debutant JJ Fredrick is reportedly about Jyotika’s character’s revenge on the perpetrators of some sort of wrongdoing. It was to hit the screens on March 27 but was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak that has caused the shutting down of theatres. The 4-crore budget thriller is believed to have been sold to the digital platform for a sum of Rs. 9 crores, becoming one of the few films to book high profits through the digital medium.
The film features Thiyagarajan, K Bhagyaraj, R Parthiepan, Pandiarajan, and Prathap Pothen in important roles. Govind Vasantha is the music director, Ramji is the cinematographer, Ruben is on the edit, and Amaran is helming art. Poornima has handled costumes for the film.
The songs of the film are being launched online, after the audio launch of the film was cancelled. ‘Vaa Chellam’ by Brinda Sivakumar, ‘Vaan Thooralgal’ by Chinmayi, and ‘Kalaigiradhey Kanave’ by Govind Vasantha have dropped so far.
Listen to the most recent ‘Kalaigiradhey Kanave’ here: