In a pioneering initiative, National Award-winning Malayalam film Ottaal, directed by noted filmmaker Jayaraj, will be released online through www.reelmonk.com, an independent movie platform, on the same day as its theatrical release.
The film will hit the theatres on Friday, and it will also be available on Reelmonk.com for downloads at prices starting at Rs 180. Through Reelmonk, producers have started to legally release Malayalam films for foreign audiences. These can be streamed or downloaded anywhere anytime within a few months after the theatrical release.
“Malayalam movie industry is rich in diversity of great content. I have noticed great interest for Malayalam movies from a global community of movie lovers. Reelmonk.com will give them the opportunity to access the Malayalam movies they love, especially with features like pay per download and subtitles,” said Jayaraj, director of Ottaal.
Blaise Crowly, CEO, Reelmonk.com, said that till recently, most people were not ready to pay for something that was already available through torrent networks. “But today, there is a market and producers are recognising the revenue potential of online release. The only people who are adversely affected by us are the movie pirates,” said Crowly.
“When we decided to begin Reelmonk.com, we always pitched it as a platform for same day release of Malayalam movies. We have hosted quite a few amazing movies like Njan Steve Lopez and Kanyaka Talkies on this platform, but the dream of same day release has become a reality with ‘Ottaal’,” said Vivek Paul, COO, Reelmonk.com.
Ottaal, an adaptation of Vanka, a short story by Russian writer Anton Chekhov, won National Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation and the Kerala State Film Award for Best Film.
It has been selected for the Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India, to be held in Goa later this month.