Amid Lockdown, Indian Film industry gears up for digital release; looks forward for an OTT platform to release films
- Major Indian films premiering on OTT platforms during Coronavirus outbreak
- Amazon Prime Video has become the go-to destination to release Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and a Malayalam film featuring stars
- There will be a paradigm shift for the movie business if bollywood opts for digital release
Bollywood: With the ongoing nationwide lockdown, there’s a cloud of uncertainty hovering over Bollywood. The movie theatres are shut, some of the major movie releases have been pushed back indefinitely, shooting of new projects have been cancelled; thus, creating a backlog in content creation and its delivery. Needless to say, the film industry is incurring huge losses, with no assurance of whether things will go back to being normal anytime soon.
Even if things do get better and the lockdown is lifted, there’s no guarantee if people would be willing to throng movie theatres like the way they did before. Also, it’s a possibility that delay in the release of movies will result in a clash at the box office, further compounding the losses of the stakeholders. This uncertainty and crisis situation has brought a paradigm shift, not just in content viewership, but also among the filmmakers who are now turning towards Over-the-top (OTT) platforms to push out their content.
Movies that are set for a digital release
1. Laxmmi Bomb – Disney+ Hotstar
Starring Akshay Kumar and Kiara Advani, the film is a horror comedy directed by Raghava Lawrence. It revolves around a man possessed by the ghost of a transgender. The film was supposed to hit the theatres on May 22. As reported by different media reports, the makers are in talks with Disney+ Hotstar for its digital release. Since there’s a lot of post-production work left, the makers may release it digitally in June.
2. Gulabo sitabo – Amazon prime video
Featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, the family comedy drama was expected to release in April 2020. However, given the current situation, the film’s release has been delayed. Earlier, director Shoojit Sircar had said in an interview that he’s “open to a digital release if need be” and will decide on it after May 3. Now, the same report by Live Mint says that the film is headed for a digital release and the rights have been acquired by Amazon Prime Video.
Starring Sidharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani, Shershaah is a biopic based on the life of Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Vikram Batra. The film is expected to release on July 3. However, given the uncertainty around re-opening of movie theatres, the makers are now, reportedly, negotiating with Netflix for an OTT release.
4. Shakuntala devi
Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi will also release on Prime Video instead of threatres. Sharing a new poster and release details of Shakuntala Devi, Vidya, who plays the role of the math wizard in the film, wrote: “Delighted to announce that you will get to see Shakuntala Devi very soon on Prime Video with all your loved ones. Thrilled that we will be able to entertain you in these unprecedented times.” The film is a biopic on late mathematical wizard Shakuntala Devi, who was also called the “human computer” for her impressive ability to solve complex calculations quickly. Shakuntala Devi’s genius was first discovered at the age of 5, when she solved a math problem for 18-year-old students. She excelled in the field of mathematics and earned a place in the 1982 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records.