With the reopening of theatres in Bengal, are filmmakers ready to return to the big screen?
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With the reopening of theatres in Bengal, are filmmakers ready to return to the big screen?

Tollywood directors reveal their hopes and plans about the cinema halls reopening

Raktim Das
Jul 31, 2021
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Thursday saw a major decision being taken by the government of West Bengal about the entertainment industry. Cinema halls have been allowed to pull up their shutters, with not more than 50% occupancy, ensuring compliance with the COVID-appropriate behaviour and protocols. The halls have been closed since May 1 after the second wave of COVID-19 hit the nation. To learn the reactions, hopes and plans of the filmmakers from the Bengali film industry, ETimes reached out to a few Tollywood directors, whose films are ready for release.

Director Kaushik Ganguly believes that no matter how much content OTT platforms offer, people will go to theatres to watch films, as the big-screen experience is what they are missing. However, he also stressed that directors need to offer good quality films, so that the audience can overcome their fear and visit theatres, along with the producers taking the risk of releasing films amidst all this uncertainty. Two of his projects, Ardhangini and Manohar Pandey, are in post-production, while Lokkhi Cheley is ready for release. A highly optimistic person, he feels that all movies will see the light of the day now.

Nandita Roy, Kaushik Ganguly, and Raj Chakrabarty (from left to right)

Highlighting the need to maintain the COVID-19 protocols and regular sanitization, Nandita Roy lauded the decision to reopen theatres. She expressed how the audience should be made aware through social media about the safety of the halls, to instil their confidence in the big screen again. Her film Bela Shuru is set to release, but they are still figuring out when to release it.

Raj Chakrabarty has two pending films, Dharmajuddha and Habji Gabji, in his kitty at the moment. He conveyed his plans to get at least one of the two films out of the way sooner than later, as he can’t think of a new project until then.

Voicing a different opinion, director Soukarya Ghoshal feels that although the halls are reopening, the fear of the pandemic is still there, and thus, people will be a little sceptical about closed, air-conditioned theatres, especially since the third wave alert is on. She believes after the majority of the population gets vaccinated, theatres will be back with a bang.

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