It took the team two years to get the platform up and running.

A Kochi startup that lets you watch Malayalam movies on release day on your laptop
news Films Friday, August 26, 2016 - 17:33

Are you living in a godforsaken city outside Kerala waiting to watch the latest film weeks after its release back home? If you are and don’t know of Reelmonk’s existence, you need to get a time-machine ride into the 21st century.

Reelmonk facilitated its first online release in July 2015, with Lal Jose’s Neena and online re-release of Rajeev Ravi’s ‘Njan Steve Lopez’.

A year later, the company has released over 100 films online, with over 37,000 registered users. 

Having gone through agonising waits to watch a much awaited film, Kochi-based professionals Vivek Paul and his friend Blaise Crowly came up with Reelmonk, a Kochi-based start-up that lets you watch Malayalam films the day they release, wherever you are. On your personal device.

Two years after moving to Mumbai for his studies, Vivek a movie buff, got tired of the wait.

Even when the wait was over, there were long commutes by local train to the nearest theatres which ran Malayalam films. Juggling academics and his love for movies was really hard, and he just a week’s window in which to watch the film.

Then, in 2014, inspiration struck, new-age film-style.

Vivek and Blaise decided to build a platform that could enable people anywhere in the world to watch Malayalam films on the day of its release in Kerala. It helped that Blaise is an engineer, and so, takes care of the back-end technical work. 

“There is a huge supply problem here. A large percentage of Malayalis live abroad and have to wait for months before a Malayalam movie releases there. In the UK or the US, it is even more difficult since going out for a movie with family is often expensive,” Vivek said.

It took the team of 11 two years to get the platform up and running.

Malayalam producers responded to the idea of an online release with alacrity. Reelmonk does not buy distribution rights and instead collaborates with producers to share returns from online release. So, it was a win-win situation for everyone, Vivek says.

That doesn’t mean it was a cake walk though.

Despite the enthusiasm, producers and filmmakers were primarily concerned about piracy in the online release, but Vivek says they’ve put in place adequate protection against it.

“We do not aim to compete with theatres, but only wish to expand the scope of distribution. To curb piracy, it is also important to make movies easily accessible to users,” says Vivek.

The prices range from Rs.180 to Rs 300 depending on the video quality. Older movies are made available for a lesser price.

(Edited by Anisha Sheth)

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