Chennai, Aug 6 IANS | 2 years ago

Despite stiff criticism from theatre owners, distributors and industry well-wishers, producer Neelima Tirumalasetti released "Alias Janaki" online along with its theatrical release. And she has managed to recover her investment.

"Alias Janaki" hit the theatres July 26 and on the same day it was released on Zingreel, an online movie viewing platform, for USD 4.99.

"The response has been phenomenal online. In one week we have about 4,000 views and the number is growing with each passing day. I'm extremely happy that despite all the problems I faced because of the sensible move, I managed to recover my cost," Neelima told IANS.

"I knew someone had to take the step irrespective of all the criticism. Competing for wide theatrical release for a small budget film like ours is nearly impossible. We managed to release it in 75 theatres in Andhra Pradesh and in a few theatres in the US as well," she added.

Directed by debutant Dayaa K, "Alias Janaki" features debutants Rahul Venkat and Anisha Ambrose. Neelima admits that the film received mixed reviews.

"There have been some negative reviews as well, but the feedback has been 80 percent positive from online exhibition. Those who didn't have access to the film in cinemas, watched it online and appreciated our effort," she said.

"I was told by the management of Zingreel that a few more Telugu films have signed up after seeing the response to our film. I firmly believe this is a great platform for low-budget films. I hope this opens the door to many other films as well," Neelima added.

Other Telugu films that have signed up on Zingreel include "Kalicharan", "Mallela Theeram Lo Sirimalle Puvvu", "Love Dotcom" and "Mathru Devo Bhava".

Following the overwhelming response, Neelima has now made "Alias Janaki" available for USD 3.99 on Yupp TV, an online TV and movie streaming channel.

She says she will continue exhibiting films online.

"I believe this is a great revenue model for low-budget films. I intend to continue exhibiting all my low-budget films online," she added.

(Posted on 06-08-2013)