Kerala theatre owners' body lifts ban on Dulquer Salmaan's Wayfarer Films

Dulquer Salmaan plays the lead in 'Salute'

Kochi: The Film Exhibitors' United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK), the association of theatre owners in the State, on Wednesday lifted the ban on actor Dulquer Salmaan and his production company, Wayfarer Films.

The decision was taken at the association's general body meeting held in Kochi.

The development came following a "convincing explanation" from the production company on why the release of Salmaan's latest movie, Salute, was given to an OTT platform.

The production company has also assured the association that their upcoming films will be released in theatres first.

Salute was released for streaming on March 18.

The association had, on March 15, decided to boycott the films of actor Dulquer Salmaan after Wayfarer Films backtracked on an agreement to release Salute in theatres.

Though the film was slated for release in theatres in January 2022, the surge in COVID cases and a slew of restrictions enforced in the State then forced the production company to postpone the release.

Eventually, it was released to a streaming platform.

Dulquer Salmaan
Dulquer Salmaan

Dulquer Salmaan on Salute's OTT release

In an interview with Malayala Manorama, Dulquer Salmaan had mentioned that his company's decision to release Salute through OTT was never to hurt the theatre owners or the audience.

The circumstances that prompted that decision were unique, the actor said.

"Then, there was no telling when theatres will reopen. So we had not really made Salute for a theatre release. That's why there are no songs in the film," Salmaan said.

"Also, we had to get the movie out before the end of the financial year. This was what hastened the release through OTT," he added.

Salmaan's last movie in theatres, Kurup, was a big hit.

"[Kurup's] success does not guarantee me special treatment from theatre owners. I'm aware of that," Salmaan said.

He also added that he is keen to release his upcoming films in theatres. "There's a special thrill in FDFS audience reactions that come in theatre releases."

Salute is an absorbing, slow-burn police story.

To read the review of Salute by Onmanorama's Vishnu Muraleedharan, click here.

Helmed by Rosshan Andrews, Salute marked the first association of Salmaan with the director as well as the writer-duo of Bobby and Sanjay.

Produced under the banner of Wayfarer Films, it is the Malayalam debut of Bollywood actress Diana Penty and also stars Manoj K Jayan in a pivotal role.

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