Suriya’s films to face ban in Kerala following row over online release in Tamil Nadu

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Theatre owners in Kerala is likely to boycott movies of actor Suriya extending support to Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association who issued a warning to the actor-turned-producer against his move to have an online release for Jyothika-starrer film produced by him. Suriya has announced that Jyothika starrer ‘Pon Magal Vandhal’ produced by his production company 2D films will be released directly on a popular OTT platform bypassing traditional theatrical release amid the lockdown over COVID-19 outbreak.

Some producers in the Malayalam film industry is also planning to release low budget movies through online platforms. Theatre owners in Kerala are disappointed with this decision. They noted that if movies have an online release, they will be forced to shut down theatres in future.

“Crores of money was spent on construction and repair of theatres. Though it is closed, we have to spend money on its maintenance. Continuous close down will damage the projectors and sound system in theatres. So movies are being screened in closed theatres to ensure proper functioning of the equipment. Hence, the theatre owners are facing a grave financial crisis amid the lockdown,” reported theatre owners.

At the same time, the row between Suriya and theatre owners in Tamil Nadu also made an impact in Kerala. Following the theatre owners decision to ban the actor’s movies in Tamil Nadu, theatre owners in Kerala are also planning to boycott his movies.

Suriya's decision to go directly digital with his new production was made public through a tweet by the social media page, Let's OTT Global: "Premier Alert Public address loudspeaker : First Tamil feature film to get a Direct OTT release, #PonMagalVandhal (Tamil) streaming rights bagged by @PrimeVideoIN. Streaming from 1st week of May."

Following this, the theatre owners association general secretary Panneerselvam released a video stating the decision not to release Suriya's films in theatres. He said that movies that are made for theatres should release in theatres first, and not on OTT platforms. He further said that if this decision is not revoked, there would be a ban on releasing films starring Suriya.

The decision, if brought to effect, could impact Suriya's upcoming film "Soorarai Pottru". Mollywood actress Aparna Balamurali is playing the female lead in the movie directed by Sudha Kongara.

(With added inputs from IANS)

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