Kerala film lobbies have been given the thumbs up to begin screenings from October 25
What’s more, with almost 100 movies — a few sitting tight for over a year — to hit the screens, apparently like it is only the news everybody needs to hear, however, things are not really basic. With the ‘vaccinated only limitation to ’50 percent inhabitance’ rule, directors, producers, theater proprietors, and even watchers have various worries to be tended to, before they are prepared to watch films in theatres.
Check out the views of the producers:
‘No one needs to deliver first’
M Renjith, leader of the Kerala Film Producers’ Association, says that makers need to initially notice the pattern and afterward choose whether or not to deliver their motion pictures immediately. He clarifies, “We have planned some meetings with the government to discuss the withdrawal of entertainment tax and to table the demands of theatre owners. It should happen in a few days. October 25 is a Monday, and if at all any releases get planned they would be for October 28 or 29, by which time, we hope there is a little more clarity on everything.” Joju George’s ‘Star’ is relied upon to release on October 29. Shouldn’t something be said about a modest bunch of huge financial plan films, including Marakkar: Arabikkadalinte Simham and Aaraattu, which have been sitting tight for over a year for film lobby returning? Renjith says, “The Marakkar team has already informed us that they will release only when the theatres are allowed to screen at their full strength. And Aarattu will release only after Marakkar.”
It’s an extreme call to make, taking into account that one can’t foresee if the crowd will turn up, says entertainer maker Vijay Babu. “The show must go on, but having said that, it is understandably difficult for producers, particularly of big-budget projects which have been awaiting release for a couple of years, to announce theatrical releases for their projects. Will audiences come to the cinema keeping in mind all the norms, will be a big concern. It is a tough call to make in these difficult times. For the next four months, it will be a combination of theatre and OTT releases. Also, no one can be forced to release their projects unless things are back to a semblance of normalcy,” he notices.
The main film to declare its delivery date was the Indrajith-starrer Aaha, which is scheduled to be out on November 26. Director Bibin Paul Samuel feels film buffs would need to return to theaters, regardless of the pandemic panic. “It’s true that the family audience will be concerned. But, if a good film is out, people might reach theatres, just like how Vijay’s film Master had a house-full run in the previous re-opening. Our film is about the popular underdog sport of Kerala, tug-of-war, which has many fans. I feel these factors can interest the audience,” clarifies Bibin.
‘We have not gotten the waivers at this point’
Film lobbies were given the thumbs up to return after exhibitors raised the interest for quite a long time together. However, Liberty Basheer, who heads the Film Exhibitors’ Federation, says the resuming will occur on October 25 provided that specific requests of the exhibitors are met by the public authority. He says, “As far as we are concerned, we had placed some demands before the government. We have not received the waivers that we had received in the first phase of the lockdown. We had received a 50 percent reduction on electricity charges, which was stopped in June. We require the same for the following months.” Basheer adds, “We had received an exemption from the entertainment tax till March 31, the tax since that period is due. But we are demanding a waiver on that, as also the property tax, which once only used to be around Rs 1,000, but now comes up to Rs 50,000 per theatre. It is only if these demands are met that theatres can reopen.”