The representatives termed the clash between Tuck Jagadish (on Amazon Prime Video) and Love Story (in theatres) 'unfair'
A screengrab from the live streaming of the press meet comprising Telangana State Cinema Theatres Association representatives
Several representatives of Telangana State Cinema Theatres Association (TSCTA) including Sridhar, Sunil Narang, Bala Govind Raj, Anupam Reddy, Vijayendar Reddy and Chadalavada Srinivasa Rao came together for a fiery press meet hosted at Telangana Film Chamber, Hyderabad earlier today. The meet had the representatives conveying their displeasure of the direct-to-OTT trend in Telugu cinema, requesting leading Telugu producers not to sell their films to OTT platforms. They opined that the direct digital releases will hurt theatres across Telangana, which are barely bouncing back to action.
"Though legends like NTR and ANR are no longer with us today, the theatres that reaped rich dividends of their successful films are still functioning today. Producers, distributors and exhibitors need to work together in the hour of crisis and help each other. The big-screen experience is any day better than watching OTT content at our homes. I request producers not to release their films directly on OTT. It's unfair to release Tuck Jagadish on Amazon Prime Video the same day when Love Story is hitting theatres (on September 10)," added noted producer Chadalavada Srinivas.
Sunil Narang, who's also the producer of Love Story which confirmed its theatrical release on September 10 recently, felt that Tuck Jagadish producers, Shine Screens, need to look at the larger picture before confirming the same release date. "Tuck Jagadish's digital premiere was announced the same day when Love Story announced its theatrical release date. I can go ahead with the release of Love Story in theatres for now, but this is not how things must work in an industry."
"Producers and exhibitors are interdependent in this business and either of their interests mustn't be compromised. We had already requested Telugu producers to wait till October 30 and release their films on OTT. We are not totally against OTT platforms, they too are a business entity. Our only request is not to release Telugu films on OTT during a festive weekend. I hope they consider this request and ensure the theatrical release of Love Story without any hassles," shared Narang.
The other representatives picked actor Nani's ironic statement at a recent pre-release event where he mentioned that watching films at theatres is a part of our 'culture' and the decision to release Tuck Jagadish on OTT. They added that the film producers will be taught a lesson in case the direct-to-OTT trend continues in Telugu cinema. "Heroism comes alive only in theatres, not on OTT. Would Baahubali garner so much acclaim had it released directly on OTT? The producers need to release their films in theatres. Theatre owners need to survive. It's a case of mutual co-existence," they said.
Tuck Jagadish, starring Nani, Ritu Varma and Aishwarya Rajesh, directed by Shiva Nirvana, is expected to land on Amazon Prime Video on September 10. Love Story, featuring Naga Chaitanya, Sai Pallavi in lead roles, is helmed by Sekhar Kammula and will have a worldwide release in theatres on the same day.