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Last Updated 23.06.2024 | 6:14 PM IST



The Kerala Story, Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh, 72 Hoorain, Ajmer Files: Why are ‘politico-religious’ films finding it difficult to get a release on OTT?

en Bollywood News The Kerala Story, Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh, 72 Hoorain, Ajmer Files: Why are ‘politico-religious’ films finding it difficult to get a release on OTT?

The OTT scenario has changed from the peak pandemic times of 2020 and 2021. The platforms have mostly stopped buying films for direct digital release, insisting that makers release their products on the big screen. Even then, several films are struggling to get a good deal on streaming. One can understand small-budget films with limited visibility facing this problem. But what’s astonishing is that even The Kerala Story isn’t out on any OTT platform yet. Produced by Vipul Shah, it is one of the five blockbusters of the year, collecting a mind-boggling Rs. 250 crores. It was released on May 5, 2023; more than 7 months have passed and it’s yet to have a digital premiere.

The Kerala Story, Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh, 72 Hoorain, Ajmer Files: Why are ‘politico-religious’ films finding it difficult to get a release on OTT?

The Kerala Story, Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh, 72 Hoorain, Ajmer Files: Why are ‘politico-religious’ films finding it difficult to get a release on OTT?

Bollywood Hungama enquired from the trade and found different versions from different sources. Some speculated that the makers wanted to sell this film for a huge price which the giants were not ready to shell. Around the release, there was a buzz that it’s seen as a propaganda film and hence platforms were wary that it can irk a section of subscribers. Trade guru Komal Nahta recently wrote on his website, Film Information, that it hasn’t got a buyer as ‘all the platforms find it too hot to handle’.

We asked Vipul Shah the reason behind it and at one point in the conversation, he confirmed, “There was a very serious effort to make sure that the film doesn’t go on OTT. That was very obvious and visible. And we were prepared for it.” The filmmaker thundered, “If you have a problem with my film and if you want to stall it, I consider you as an anti-national. Why would people not want this film to come out? Who benefits from it if this truth remains hidden? And if somebody is benefiting from such a tragedy, then what would you call them?”

He continued, “We faced some situations and now we have an alternate plan ready. Within one week, you’ll come to know about the digital release.” He, however, clarified, “My film was not political. It was about human tragedy. If someone wants to peddle a wrong narrative, they would do so. They’ll label the way they want but that doesn’t change the truth.”

Vipul Shah further revealed, “Even after 7 months of release, people come to our office. They leave sweets for us. It’s unbelievable. A group of 1,000 females in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra requested us to visit them as they have also been forced to convert. They are fighting and want us for moral support. Some might claim that this is propaganda by a political party. But 7 months after the release, what will be our agenda behind (all this)?”

Talking about the OTT release, Vipul Shah opened up, “Every digital platform has a limited reach. The biggest giant will reach out to 40-50 million people. Our country has 1.4 billion people. We were sure that we wanted The Kerala Story to reach out to a maximum number of people. That was not possible by selling it to an OTT platform. That was one of the reasons. Finally, we have arrived at a solution that will help us achieve our target and the platforms talking to us will get what they want. It’s a new idea and hence, the people were wary of it as it can disrupt their business model.”

He added, “It’s not like we are going to make money. On the contrary, we are going to lose a lot of money. Initially, when the film was released and we had two offers, the price quoted by them was very high. But as I said, we had to decline as the film would not have reached the whole country. The sole purpose of the film cannot be money. If you would have noticed, we never mentioned collections on the posters. That was not the intention, to brag how many crores I earned by showing the tragedy of women. Instead, we talked about the number of people who saw the film.”

The Kerala Story is not the only ‘politico-religious’ film that has not had a digital release. Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh, directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, will complete a year next month and its digital release update is nowhere to be found. The same goes for Ajmer 92, released on July 21.

Then, 72 Hoorain, too, is yet to find an OTT release though it arrived in cinemas on July 7 this year. Though the film was seen as a fair, non-controversial film, it had the perception of a film with a particular political leaning.

Ashoke Pandit, one of the producers, told Bollywood Hungama, “We have been trying (to release 72 Hoorain on OTT). A lot of deals are happening between companies, like the merger of Sony and Zee. As a result, buying of films has stopped right now. Hence, a lot of films are waiting for an OTT response.”

As for the film’s box office performance, Ashoke stated, “There was heavy rain all over the country in the week when the film was released. Itni baarish mein kaun jaayega film dekhne? Shah Rukh ki film dekhne nahin jaate, meri film kya dekhne jaayenge?”

Also Read: Adah Sharma opens up about challenging on-set experience; shares BTS pictures of from The Kerala Story

More Pages: 72 Hoorain Box Office Collection


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