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Ramya: Mainstream OTT platforms are not buying Kannada films

If at all they do, it’s after the film has had a theatrical outing, said the actress while speaking at a conclave organized by a media house

Ramya: Mainstream OTT platforms are not buying Kannada films
Ramya has announced her return to films with the launch of her home banner
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 02.52 AM, Apr 23, 2023

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In 2022, Kannada cinema literally had its moment in the spotlight, when not one, but several films attained national success. Yet that did not really do anything for the industry at large, with releasing a film in theatres and finding a decent digital partner still remaining the greatest hurdles for filmmakers.

Former Kannada actress Ramya, who is set to return to cinema soon, marked her comeback as a producer last year, when she got a film with Raj B Shetty and Siri Ravikumar rolling. It was rumoured that the film, Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye, would be a direct-to-OTT release, but if Ramya’s latest comments are anything to go, it may go to theatres first.

Raj B Shetty and Siri Ravikumar in a still from the film
Raj B Shetty and Siri Ravikumar in a still from the film

Ramya was a guest at a recent conclave conducted by a leading media house, where she openly addressed the issue Kannada films have with streaming platforms. For starters, OTT platforms do not buy Kannada films, said Ramya. This is a grouse shared by many filmmakers, who have not been speaking publicly for the fear of losing out on a potential deal for their films. While Netflix and Sony Liv do not consider Kannada films at all, Amazon Prime Video bought a handful of films in the last couple of years for direct releases, with the rest comprising only those that have not only had a theatrical outing, but also either did well commercially, had favourable reviews, or, most importantly, has ‘big’ stars on board.

Ramya also added that even when a film has had a theatrical run, OTT platforms often make very nominal offers to buy the digital rights, which maybe unacceptable for a film team that has put in a lot of effort in making a movie. According to Ramya, mainstream OTT platforms have a policy in place to not buy Kannada films.