Mumbai, Jan. 31 -- Actors and producers are known to put their heads together to come up with innovative strategies to reach more people with their projects. However, the route Abhay Deol seems to be taking with his upcoming film, One By Two, is completely unprecedented.
In a first, Abhay and his coproducers have decided to release their entire film on the social media site, Facebook, for international audiences (on the same day as its India release). Indian audiences will still have to queue up at theatres, since access to the online version will be blocked in the country. This has been done to protect the interests of theatres running the film here.
Abhay says, "One By Two will officially be the first film worldwide to premiere internationally on Facebook... I would like to thank Facebook and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures (producers) for supporting me and my film."
The makers claim to have struck a deal with Facebook (USA) for this never-before-attempted move (not even Hollywood films have tried something like this before). Rudrarup Dutta, head of marketing, Viacom 18, says, "Facebook will block all the IP addresses from India (geoblocking) trying to access the file. It will be available in countries where there is no theatrical release of the film." Sources also tell us that the film is unlikely to get a significant international release, which is the reason for this move.
Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, adds, "... we are delighted to partner with Facebook as a platform, so cinema consumers outside India can enjoy the film on release day. This is also a bold step to counter piracy by giving the discerning consumer a clear legal choice."
Earlier, the film ran into trouble regarding music rights. At the time, Abhay expressed his displeasure about how that has affected the film's promotion. As for the producers' move to release the film online, we were not able to verify the claim independently with Facebook, USA.