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Regional stars ride OTT wave to gain pan-India fan base

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When Telugu star Nani premiered his much-anticipated film “V” on an OTT platform in September, many were surprised, still others curious.

Nani is a big name in Tollywood, and “V” was his 25th film as a hero, therefore special. Traditional wisdom would suggest a star of his stature would wait for unlock and take his film to theatres first, Nani went the other way round. “V” released in theatres much later, on January 1 this year.

Less than a year later, when Malayalam star Prithviraj Sukumaran readies for the OTT release of his new film “Cold Case” on June 30, the idea doesn’t seem to surprise anyone. Of course, there is a pandemic on and theatres are shut, and lockdown induced by the pandemic seems to point at the fact that big screen business will not be normal for a while.

But along with the economics that drive it, over the past year movie-watching habits of the audience and logistics of releasing films have rapidly gotten reorganised.

The habit of watching stuff on cellphones and laptops, though not wholly satisfactory, is increasingly gaining ground, which is why even Bollywood biggies as Akshay Kumar (“Laxmii”), Salman Khan (“Radhe”), Varun Dhawan (“Coolie No. 1”) and Vidya Balan (“Sherni”, “Shakuntala Devi”) have seen films being premiered on OTT platforms.

However, while releasing films on OTT is just another commercial experiment for Bollywood stars, who have a pan-Indian audience in any case, the idea throws open a whole new avenue for regional big names.

For decades regional stars, particularly of the South, have tried accessing the pan-Indian audience. For decades, the only formidable way to do so was by securing a pan-India release for their film. For this to happen, there were two routes to take.

You could either try and crack Bollywood (tough deal even for the mighty Rajinikanth, given the Hindi film industry’s insular nature and continuing tendency to stick to camps). Or, you could take the dubbing route, which is what stars like Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Venkatesh, Vikram, Vijay or Prabhas did over the years, among many others from down South.

It was mostly always a challenge to find the right distribution for dubbed content, even though it seemed a sure winner. Apart from the odd release as “Sivaji”, “Enthiran” (released as “Robot”), “Pratibandh”, “Shiva” or “Aparichit” and the “Bahubali” films to name a few, most regional films found it difficult to secure satisfactory release and box office impact outside their home state.

OTT reverses that situation, and sets the ball rolling for actors from all over India to find an equal footing when it comes to viewership. Salman Khan’s mega-hyped “Radhe” and the modestly mounted Telugu comedy drama “Battala Ramaswami Biopikku” dropped on the same OTT platform in the same weekend, setting up a level playing field.

Suddenly, the notion of pan-India accessibility — nay, global accessibility — had been rejigged. Bollywood stardom wasn’t the only calling card for all-India superstardom.

It is a reason why someone like the Tamil star Dhanush goes with the idea of releasing his latest film “Jagame Thandhiram” on OTT. Dhanush, who was already a familiar face in the pan-India market due to his 2013 Bollywood debut performance in “Raanjhanaa”, has seen a rapid flow of releases in the digital space. His films as “Asuran” and “Karnan”, which had done sufficiently well in their home market, found a substantially bigger fan base for the National Award-winning star post OTT release.

Every major actor and actress from regional film industries is currently realising that the divide between vernacular and national films can be obliterated thanks to OTT culture. A big bonus here is also the fact that the same film can be simultaneously made available with multiple language options, which allows for easy reach in untapped markets.

The past year has seen a cross-section of big names from the South including Mohanlal (“Drishyam 2”), Anushka Shetty (“Nishabdham”), R. Madhavan (“Maara” and “Nishabdham”), Jyothika (“Ponmagal Vandhal”) tap into OTT accessibility, and take their latest films to audiences far beyond what conservative exhibition patterns would have allowed.

The likes of Fahadh Faasil (“Joji”, “C U Soon”), Danish Sait (“French Biriyani”), Indrajith Sukumaran (“Halal Love Story”), Bhargava Poludasu (“Gatham”), Ragini Prajwal (“Law”) became household names among movie buffs with direct-to-OTT release of their films, much more than mere theatrical release would have let them be. There have been many others, still many more are lined up over the next months.

Tapping into language cinema for direct-to-web deals is actually a gold mine that OTT players are waking up to. There is a huge reservoir of stars who are chasing the power of digital space to take them into audience mind space just about anywhere in India and the world.

Even after things have normalised, and theatrical releases start again, top names of regional film industries know there is always the OTT advantage from now on, to reach out to an unlimited audience base.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Four Tollywood films heading for Digital Release

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Telugu360 was the first to disclose that Nani’s next film V is heading for a digital release very soon. Tollywood actors were quite hesitant for a digital release as they are scared that they would lose their theatrical market. Top producer Dil Raju was the first to convince Nani explaining about the current situations and the heaping up budgets. Nani’s V will release on September 5th on Amazon Prime and an official announcement would be made at the earliest. The deal is closed for Rs 33 crores.

The latest news we hear is that a bunch of films are now following V and are heading for a digital release. Sai Tej’s Solo Brathuke So Better will release on Zee5 and the deal got closed recently. The makers pocketed Rs 25 crores for the digital rights. The pending shoot of the film will be completed by September. Ravi Teja’s film Krack too has to complete some portions of shoot and will be wrapped up soon. The deal will be closed in a week and Zee5 is the frontrunner to acquire the digital rights of Krack. The film too may release in October.

Anushka’s Nishabdham is in the final stages of post-production and the VFX work is pending. The makers closed the digital deal of Nishabdham for a decent price of Rs 24 crores. The release date of Nishabdham will be announced soon. Ram’s Red and Vaishnav Tej’s Uppena will not head for a digital release. The makers of these films decided to wait and they will head for a theatrical release during Sankranthi 2021.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Tollywood’s first big film to head for digital release

With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, several Tollywood films that completed shoots have been waiting to hit the screens. Some of the top producers waited for months and most of them came to a conclusion that the theatres would not reopen anytime soon. Nani’s V, Ram’s Red, Rana’s Aranya, Anushka’s Nishabdham and Uppena are the films that are waiting for release. V is directed by Mohanakrishna Indraganti and is produced by Dil Raju. There are several speculations about the digital release of the film but the makers remained tightlipped.

Telugu360 exclusively learned that the digital deal is closed finally. Dil Raju and Nani decided not to wait after analyzing the situations. Amazon Prime acquired the digital rights of V for a whopping price of Rs 33 crores. V is heading for release on September 5th. The makers are in plans to make an official announcement on the same very soon. Rs 33 crores is an exceptional deal as it is equal to the theatrical rights of the film.

Dil Raju will pocket decent profits through V after the deal is closed. Nani, Sudheer Babu, Aditi Rao Hydari and Nivetha Thomas are the lead actors in V, an action thriller.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Nani’s V Release: Dil Raju strict on his stand

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Nani and Sudheer Babu starrer V is announced for March 25th release during Ugadi. The recent situations of coronavirus scare and the examination season had a huge impact on the collections from the past ten days. The buyers of V asked producer Dil Raju to push V for April 17th or 24th to take the advantage of the holiday season and they believe that things would turn better by April. V is a crucial film as the buyers lost huge amounts on Iddari Lokam Okkate and Jaanu that are produced by Dil Raju.

What’s more worrying is the local body polls that are scheduled to take place between March 21st and 29th in Andhra Pradesh. The distributors are mounting pressure on Raju to push the release date of V. The makers already kick-started the promotions and Raju, Sirish are keen on releasing V as per the plan. If the situations turn worse, they are in plans to release V on April 17th.

Directed by Mohana Krishna Indraganti, V is an action thriller and has Aditi Rao Hydari, Nivetha Thomas as the heroines.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Vastunna Vachestunna from V: A Haunting Melody

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Bollywood music composer Amit Trivedi composed the tunes for Nani and Sudheer Babu starrer ‘V’ which is hitting the screens for Ugadi. The second single ‘Vastunna Vachestunna’ has been unveiled today and it is a haunting melody. Shreya Ghoshal’s voice and Sirivennela Seetharamasatry’s lyrics take the song to the next level. Amit Trivedi says that he is left in a tricky situation as the song comes at a crucial point of time when a young couple meets for dinner while the other lead actor starts his journey to commit a murder.

Vastunna Vachestunna is melodious and has enough depth which is narrated with perfect lyrics. Nani is said to have been playing a role with negative shades and Sudheer Babu plays a ruthless cop. Aditi Rao Hydari and Nivetha Thomas are the leading ladies in V which is slated for March 25th release. Mohana Krishna Indraganti is the director and Dil Raju is the producer. The film is carrying decent expectations.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Manasu Maree Lyrical from V: A Class Melody

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The first single from Nani’s V is out today on the occasion of his birthday. The single ‘Manasu Maree’ looks pleasant, beautiful, romantic and is tipped with a class touch. Legendary writer Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry penned the lyrics for the song while Amit Trivedi, Shashaa Tirupathi and Yazin Nizar crooned for the song. Manasu Maree is sure a winner and will impress youth bigtime.

Mohana Krishna Indraganti directed V which is in final stages of post-production. Nani, Sudheer Babu, Nivetha Thomas and Aditi Rao Hydari are the lead actors in V which is produced by Dil Raju. The film is said to be an action thriller which is slated for March 25th release.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

“V” North America By Nirvana Cinemas & RR Cinemas

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Nirvana Cinemas, the distribution house which is known to bring different concept films to overseas audience is proud to announce their next film “V” in association with RR Cinemas.

“V” is Nani’s landmark 25th film and will be a multi starrer with Sudheer Babu playing an important role. Aditi Rao Hydari and Nivetha Thomas are playing female leads. Indraganti Mohan Krishna, who delivered many hits like Gentleman, Sammohanam is directing this landmark movie.

Amit Trivedi is composing the tunes while Thaman, who is in red hot form is scoring the BGM. Dil Raju is producing this under his banner Sri Venkateswara creations.

Teaser was released on 17th February and is trending on YouTube since then and clocked more than 5 million views.

Catch the teaser here in case you missed it. Witness Nani in never before and ever after avatar.

https://youtu.be/UgJvX9-MNGc

Nirvana Cinemas and RR Cinemas would like to thank Dil Raju garu and Sirish Garu for this opportunity. This is our second time collaboration with Indraganti Mohana krishna garu after Sammohanam and we are super excited to present this film in North America (USA & Canada).

Movie will be hitting screens on March 25th with grand premieres in US on 24th March, which is a Tuesday.

Most of you can avail AT&T discounts and other discounts to watch premieres for just $7 (AT&T Buy 1 Get 1).

For exhibition inquiries in your states/cities, please reach us at

Sandy- 408-780-4655

Asrin- 786-205-6026

Email: nirvanacinemas@gmail.com

Press release by: Indian Clicks, LLC

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Nani’s V teaser on February 17th

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Nani and Sudheer Babu are teaming up for the first time for ‘V’, a stylish action thriller that is directed by Mohana Krishna Indraganti. The film’s teaser will be out on February 17th. A stylish poster of Nani and Sudheer Babu is unveiled by the makers. Amit Trivedi is composing the music for V. Tollywood’s young sensation S Thaman is now on board to compose the background score for the film.

Thaman already started working on the score. Nani is playing a role with negative shades in the film. Aditi Rao Hydari and Nivetha Thomas are the leading ladies. Dil Raju is the producer and V releases on March 25th all over. Nani and Sudheer Babu are super confident on the film.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Nani’s V is a murder thriller

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Natural Star Nani and Sudheer Babu are teaming up for the first time for a multi-starrer which is titled V. Mohana Krishna Indraganti is the director and the regular shoot commenced recently in Hyderabad. Aditi Rao Hydari and Nivetha Thomas are the female leads in V. The latest update we hear about the film is that Nani plays the lead antagonist in this action thriller. Nani commits a series of murders leaving clues for every crime.

Sudheer Babu plays a cop who investigates these crimes. The backstory behind Nani committing a series of crimes forms the major story of V. Mohana Krishna Indraganti was impressed with a novel and penned the script. Dil Raju’s Sri Venkateswara Creations is bankrolling this prestigious multi-starrer. The next schedule will start in Hyderabad after which the shoot will move to Bangkok.

The movie unit is currently finalizing the locations in Bangkok. Nani will join the shoot later and some interesting episodes on Sudheer Babu are initially canned.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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