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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Under coronavirus shadow, the south Indian film industry goes to work

Even as there is no clarity about when theaters across the country would open for business, the government in Tamil Nadu has allowed filmmakers to resume post-production on movies.

By: Entertainment Desk | Bengaluru | Updated: May 14, 2020 8:13:27 pm
Vijay in Master Post-production work of Vijay’s Master will resume soon.

Whether or not one believes in the superstition around Friday the 13th, but we could all agree that March 13 was the unluckiest Friday for Indian cinema as theaters pulled down the shutters due to the coronavirus outbreak. The production of new movies also came to a grinding halt during the third week of March.

Even as there is no clarity about when cinema halls across the country would open for business, the government in Tamil Nadu has allowed filmmakers to resume post-production work on movies that went into cold-storage two months ago.

“We are hoping that we could start shooting from at least the month of June or July,” said producer Dhananjayan, who was part of the delegates that met the Tamil Nadu government recently to request permission for post-production work.

He has already started dubbing process for his forthcoming production venture, Kabadadaari, which stars Sibi Sathyaraj in the lead role.

The production houses that wish to resume post-production work have to follow certain guidelines, including the size of the crew that should not exceed more than five persons at a time. The filmmakers should get required approvals from the authorities and follow strict hygiene protocols at the workplace. The crew members on the job must use a face mask, gloves, keep a distance from their colleagues, and the premise should be regularly sanitised.

“Thank you @actornasser sir for joining the dubbing of #Kabadadaari …we are gearing up to complete & plan for release in July/August depending on when theatres plan opening. Looking forward Thumbs (sic),” Dhananjayan tweeted, along with a video of actor Nasser, assuring that all the precautions were taken during the dubbing process.

The editing of director Shankar’s magnum opus Indian 2 is all set to begin. The production of the movie, starring Kamal Haasan as aged vigilante Senathipathi, came to a halt in February after a freak accident on the sets that killed three crew members.

The post-production on Vijay’s upcoming movie Master, Sivakarthikeyan’s Doctor and Vishal’s Chakra is also set to begin.

On Tuesday, Sun Pictures announced that it will be releasing Superstar Rajinikanth’s Annaatthe during Pongal next year. The principal photography of the movie directed by Siva is still pending, but its post-production is expected to begin soon.

Earlier, even the Kerala government gave permission to begin the post-production work with similar safety guidelines. Director Unnikrishnan on Tuesday announced that he has started the pre-production work on his next project, with Udayakrishnan, Aroma Mohan, Jayan, Jomon T John, Mohandas and Shameer Mohammed, while following the norms of physical distancing.

Director Lijo Jose Pellissery of Jallikattu fame is also busy editing his next untitled project.

Recently, the Karnataka government also allowed post-production work. According to reports, there are as many as 50 movies stuck at the post-production stage. The work on Sudeep’s Kotigobba 3 and Darshan’s Roberrt are also expected to begin soon.

It is worth noting that the Karnataka government has already granted permission to resume the production of TV serials with a set of do’s and dont’s. The production of TV shows is set to begin from May 25.

READ: Kannada TV industry all set to resume production, safety is still a concern

No relief for Tollywood

The Telugu film industry has not managed to secure a nod from the government for post-production. Last week, cinematography Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, however, suggested that the Teleganaga government is considering to allow the production of films and television shows in full capacity soon. Without giving a timeline, he said, the Teleganaga government will discuss with the Andhra Pradesh government soon and come up with an action plan. While appreciating the contributions of top stars of the Telugu film industry during the period of crisis, he also promised the government will implement a policy that would benefit the growth of the film industry.

The outbreak has stalled the progress of movies with a combined worth of more than a thousand crore. Director SS Rajamouli’s upcoming magnum opus Roudram Ranam Rudhiram, RRR, is alone being made at a budget of more than Rs 300 crore. And then there is Chiranjeevi’s Acharya, Allu Arjun’s Pushpa and Prabhas’ movie with KK Radha Krishna Kumar with investments running into hundreds of crores.

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