Release at last for 'made in UAE' Malayalam film; postponed 4 times

On the sets of UAE based movie 'Persiakkaran'. (SUPPLIED)

Uncertainty about the release of 'Persiakkaran', fully shot in the UAE starring nearly 40 stars from the region, seems to be over.

The Malayalam movie got the green signal to release the movie on October 10.

The UAE film producer and the entire 'Persiakkaran' team were worried about the availability of theatres in Kerala.

The release date was changed four times due to non-availability of theatres in the Indian state.

“Now we feel relieved as the movie will be screened in all the major theatres in Kerala on October 10, 2014.

"Each time a change in the movie screening date cost me Indian Rupees 4,00,000, and we were always uncertain whether the movie will ever be released,” said Hari Kumar Chakkalil, UAE based film producer, whose finances have been strained after his investment in the project.

'Persiakkaran', a movie about three generation of Keralite expatriate life in the UAE, was scheduled for release three times in August-September 2014 and each time the movie screening in the Kerala theatres had to be postponed.

During Onam and Eid festival season, all the available screens in the state were grabbed by superstar movies or movies made by powerful producers and directors.

Nearly two hundred films are produced every year in Malayalam, but many of them end up in boxes, due to a number of reasons.

Only movies starring superstars get priority due to powerful lobby that controls the film production and distribution segment.

The number of film theatres in Kerala has been declining over the years, with about 1000 theatres already closed down, reducing the total number of theatres in the state from 1600 to just 515 two years ago, according to Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation.

Most of the B and C class theatres have been closed down as the number of visitors to theatres has come down substantially as many theatre goers are happy watching the television serials and soaps on television channels. 

Many famous film theatres have been converted into warehouses, furniture stores or other showrooms.

Some of the new malls in the state houses multiplexes and high tech theatres.

Film theatres that were an integral part of village life have almost vanished.

“There is a scramble for theatres because only movies that do well in the theatres get good buyers for satellite rights. Now a days it is very difficult to get satellite rights that cover a major chunk of the movie production cost. If it does well in the box offices, 'Persiakkaran' will get a good satellite rate,” said a member of the 'Persiakkaran' team.

“I hope the movie will be released in the Gulf theatres too very soon. We were really worried about the release date," he added.

'Persiakkaran' is Adil Ibrahim's debut film as a lead actor which will also see actress Sudhishana.

The film, produced by New TV, is directed by Ashok R Nath.

The music director, Sanjeev Meleppattu, is also a familiar name in the UAE. Like Moideen Koya and Albert Alex who play important roles in Persiakkaran, the music director has worked in leading Malayalam radio stations in the UAE.

Out of 250 contestants who appeared for an audition in the UAE, 40 were selected to act in 'Persiakkaran'.

Leading Malayalam star, Mukesh plays an important role in the movie with Kochu Preman, Albert Alex, Moideen Koya, Sathish Menon, advertising personnel Gops, Smitha Babu and others from the UAE have played commendable roles.

“In the UAE there are not many screens available for Malayalam movies and only the best ones will be selected for screening here. The theatres here give preference for Malayalam superstar movies and only commercially successful movies. Some film directors and producers had to take one or two theatres on lease for a day to show their movies here. There is a lack of space for new producers and artists,” said an industry insider.