Even as India prepares to enter phase four of lockdown, the Hindi film industry is far from certain when it will get rolling. While theater owners are increasingly concerned about surviving in the coming months, Bollywood producers have already begun negotiating with OTT giants to save themselves from losses.
Shoojit Sircar has become the first filmmaker to lock a deal with an OTT platform, for his upcoming release Gulabo Sitabo, which is set to change things in the industry. The film was earlier scheduled to release in theaters in April.
Last week, the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) appealed to studio partners, producers, artistes and content creators to support the cinema exhibition sector by holding their films and releasing them in theaters once they are open again.
“MAI would like to urge all studio partners, producers, artistes and content creators to support the cinema exhibition sector, a vital part of the value chain, by holding and releasing their films in the theatres, once they open again.
“To this end, we urge all studios, producers, artistes and other content creators, to kindly respect the exclusive theatrical window, which has been a time-tested industry practice, agreed to by all stake-holders, not just in India, but even globally, for several decades,” read the statement by MAI.
Streaming giants, which are currently the only source of fresh content, are benefiting from mainstream producers’ newfound interest in them as this will not only make them the one-stop destination for movies, but will also make them more powerful, at least in the near future, until cinemas become the happy, safe place for the audience once again.