Perumbavoor is currently the biggest producer in the state and has worked with Mohanlal, while Joseph is a close aide of Mammootty.

A collage of Antony Perumbavoor, Anto Joseph and Listin Stephen A collage of Antony Perumbavoor, Anto Joseph and Listin Stephen
news Mollywood Friday, November 26, 2021 - 18:40

Income Tax (I-T) officials on Friday, November 26, searched the offices of three leading Kerala film producers. The sleuths are finding out details of film producers Antony Perumbavoor, Anto Joseph and Listin Stephen from their offices in Kochi. The I-T officials belong to the TDS wing of the Kochi office and sources said they are inspecting details of recent releases of these producers on OTT platforms.

Perumbavoor is currently one of the biggest producer in the state and is mostly associated with producing blockbusters of superstar Mohanlal and speculation was that he has managed to sell his mega film Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham for Rs 70 crore to an OTT platform. Joseph is more or less the closest aide of superstar Mammootty.

According to reports, the searches were part of routine checks conducted by the I-T Department to ensure that no tax evasion has taken place. The officials are reported to have collected various tax details from the producers about their production houses.

Confirming this, Listin told TNM that it was a general inspection by the I-T Department to verify that all the tax payments are in order. "They wanted to check that the TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) was all proper, and the payments made correctly. It was only routine," Listin said.

The searches came days ahead of the release of Mohanlal's big budget period movie Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, produced by Antony. A number of films produced by them are streaming on various OTT platforms after theatres were shut for many months during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. There were talks about Marakkar releasing on an OTT platform recently, even after theatres reopened in November. However, after several rounds of discussion, Antony and Mohanlal said that the movie will hit the theatres on December 2.

Listin Stephen's Mohan Kumar Fans and Driving License are screening on Amazon Prime, though they had initially released in theatres. Several of Anto Joseph's productions including Malik, Cold Case, The Priest and Nizhal are on OTT platforms. Among these Malik and Cold Case had OTT releases.

With inputs from Cris