Double-action Tamil film, Anbarivu is set to premiere on OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar – skipping a theatrical release altogether. The film cast is made up of Tamizha Aadhi; Nepoleon; Sai Kumar; Shivani Rajashekar; Sangeetha Krish and Urvashi etc. Anbarivu is the works of debutant director Aswin Raam and produced by Sathya Jothi Films.
In recent months, regional films, especially South Indian films have gained immense popularity among Indian audiences on OTT platforms. Despite not speaking the language, they are able to understand with the help of subtitles and Hindu dubbing. Industry analysts believe South movies reach out to the heartbeat of the audience better.
According to Hotstar India data, based on its pan-India customer base, regional-language entertainment accounted for more than 40% of media consumption. Tamil, Telugu and Bengali led the viewership patterns. Films of renowned Southern actors such as Suriya have amassed audiences on the OTT with his Soorarai Pottru. Moreover, OTTs have also realized that while original content is a key factor in pulling new subscribers, regional content is a key factor in pushing up subscriber growth.
Vijay Subramaniam, former director and head of content at Prime Video, told Forbes India that their direct-to-service regional films had received 50% of their viewings from outside the home state in 2020. Amazon Prime Video endeavors to build an impressive film slate in Indian regional languages. Its competitors – Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix and SonyLiv have grabbed on too.
Pratiksha Rao, director films and licensing, Netflix India, said the top 10 row on Netflix is a good indicator of what people in India and around the world are enjoying. She highlighted that their Tamil film anthology Navarasa, helmed by Mani Ratnam and Jayendra Panchapakesan was in the Top 10 in 10 countries – including India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. “Dhanush-starrer Jagame Thandhiram drew an equal share of audience from outside India, as it did within the country. The film was subtitled and dubbed in multiple Indian languages as well as English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.”
Rao said this enabled a wider access for their members around the world. “Jagame Thandhiram has been in the Top 10 in 12 countries outside India and has been No. 1 in seven countries, including India, Malaysia and the UAE.”