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Tamil film ‘Dikkiloona’ to premiere directly on ZEE5

Dikkiloona stars Santhanam, Anagha and Shirin Kanchwala, with Yogi Babu, Harbhajan Singh, Rajendran, and Anandaraj in supporting roles. (Photo: Twitter @Nn84Naganatha)Premium
Dikkiloona stars Santhanam, Anagha and Shirin Kanchwala, with Yogi Babu, Harbhajan Singh, Rajendran, and Anandaraj in supporting roles. (Photo: Twitter @Nn84Naganatha)

  • Movies in the four South Indian languages, particularly Tamil and Telugu, including their dubbed Hindi versions, have been bringing big returns for streaming platforms, contributing to 10-25% of overall viewership

NEW DELHI: Tamil science fiction comedy Dikkiloona will premiere directly on ZEE5, giving up on cinemas for theatres to reopen. Directed by Karthik Yogi, the film stars Santhanam, Anagha and Shirin Kanchwala, with Yogi Babu, Harbhajan Singh, Rajendran, and Anandaraj in supporting roles.

To be sure, small to medium budget southern language films are fast looked at direct-to-digital launches especially post the second covid wave, outnumbering the number of Hindi films that skipped theatrical release. Titles like Malaysia to Amnesia (Tamil), Thank You Brother (Telugu), Mohan Kumar Fans (Malayalam), Dhanush’s Jagame Thandiran and Nayanthara-starrer Netrikann have premiered on different OTT platforms.

Movies in the four South Indian languages, particularly Tamil and Telugu, including their dubbed Hindi versions, have been bringing big returns for streaming platforms, contributing to 10-25% of overall viewership, following the trend of their popularity on satellite television. While niche, experimental films have been discovered beyond their native states on one hand, mass-market offerings starring top names such as Dhanush, Rajinikanth, Allu Arjun on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar and MX Player have also grabbed eyeballs, as families come together to watch stars.

Action, thriller and romance remain big genres, followed by drama and horror. While the southern industries bet big on larger-than-life characters and mainstream entertainment, the pandemic has also opened up possibilities to take the digital route for many films that could not wait for theatrical showcasing.

Senior executives of OTT platforms say they see a lot of repeat viewing for southern titles, with audiences from metros and non-metros where the mobile is the primary mode of viewing. Some of the Tamil film titles also see traction in countries such as Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The love and affinity for south Indian cinema has crossed over from linear television channels to OTT platforms as subtitles and dubs remove language barriers.

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