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Last Updated: 09.38 AM, Feb 18, 2023
ZEE5, the video streaming platform owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, will premiere Marathi film Vaalvi, on 24 February. Directed by Paresh Mokashi, the film stars Swwapnil Joshi, Subodh Bhave, Anita Date-Kelkar and Shivani Surve in leading roles. The platform has streamed Marathi films like Pandu, Zombivali, Har Har Mahadev and Timepass 3, in the past.
“Marathi is an important language in our ZEE5 ecosystem and it’s our endeavour to keep the viewers happy by giving them best-in-class Marathi content,” Manish Kalra, chief business officer, ZEE5 India said in a statement.
Trade experts say smaller regional films have been slow in recovery from the pandemic, garnering less than 40% of pre-covid traffic at the box office. Except for a few hits in Punjabi and Marathi in the first half of last year, the second half was witness to more flops.
Also, just a handful of OTT players such as SonyLIV, ZEE5 and Amazon Prime Video are showing any interest in acquiring streaming rights of these films, which in turn is affecting the ability of producers to invest in new productions. Experts feel that the current scenario is making producers go slow in resuming the flow of regular releases as audiences have become more selective.
Regional language film hits have been pretty scattered so far and even regular slate of releases haven’t resumed like pre-covid times, at least in languages like Marathi and Bengali. The last big Punjabi money-spinner, Saukan Saukne starring Ammy Virk made Rs. 22 crore within a fortnight of its release in May in markets like Punjab and Delhi NCR, as per trade website Box Office India.
Marathi cinema too has seen titles like Sher Shivraj, Chandramukhi and Daagdi Chaawl 2 perform decently, but the hits have been few.
Just like Hindi cinema, viewers of regional language content too have been exposed to programming from across the world and have become selective.