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NEW DELHI: With cinemas in Kerala still some time away from re-opening as covid 19 cases show no signs of climbing down, Malayalam film Kuruthi will skip the wait and premiere directly on Amazon Prime Video on 11 August.

The political thriller directed by Manu Warrier, written by Anish Pallyal, and produced by Supriya Menon through the company Prithviraj Productions stars Prithviraj Sukumaran and features Murali Gopy, Roshan Mathew, Shine Tom Chacko and Srindaa in supporting roles.

With several states having allowed cinemas to reopen including Delhi, Punjab, Jharkhand and Telangana, more producers have lined up film releases for theatres. This may mean fewer films may now go to digital platforms directly.

In the past few months, Amazon Prime Video has acquired Farhan Akhtar’s Toofan and Fahadh Faasil’s Malik while Netflix has bought titles such as Kartik Aaryan’s Dhamaka and Taapsee Pannu’s Haseen Dilruba, besides having premiered Parineeti Chopra-starrer The Girl On The Train, earlier this year.

Trade analysts and entertainment industry experts said digital has emerged stronger than ever before during the pandemic and is unlikely to go away any time soon, despite theatre owners urging filmmakers to release films for big screens to help in the recovery of the industry.

Movies in the four South Indian languages, particularly Tamil and Telugu, including their dubbed Hindi versions, are doing well on streaming platforms, contributing to 10-25% of overall viewership.

While niche, experimental films have been discovered beyond their native states, mass-market offerings starring top stars such as Dhanush, Rajinikanth, Allu Arjun on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar and MX Player have also grabbed eyeballs. Last month, Jio Cinema started a Malayalam special bringing six titles, including two that had premiered directly on the digital platform.

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