Telugu film industry is one of the premium film-making industries in the country. Year by year, Tollywood is emerging as the top film industry in India with a business of hundreds of crores. Tollywood has become the face of the South film industry and will soon become the face of India, given the number of releases that it produces every year. One solid example to prove the fact that Tollywood is dominating other industries is how the filmmakers handled the COVID crisis. From postponing the film’s shoots to resuming them and announcing the new release dates confidently, everything that the Telugu filmmakers did is a lesson for many in the film business. However, the developments in the country are pushing the industry back to square one.
Right after the pandemic lockdown restrictions were lifted, the Telugu producers resumed the pending film shoots and announced new release dates for the pending releases. Not stopping there, the producers of other big-budgeted flicks, medium-budgeted films, and other small films that are in production mode also confirmed their arrivals in the theatres. In the span of one week, the producers confirmed the arrival of new films from January to October this year. Krack, Red, Uppena, Sreekaram, Jathi Rathnalu, Aranya, Vakeel Saab, and other films already released in theatres.
New Release Dates
Thalaivi, Acharya, Narappa, Khiladi, Akhanda, Good Luck Sakhi, Most Eligible Bachelor, Aakashavani, Major, Ghani, Radhe Shyam, Pushpa, Maha Samudram, F3, Liger, and RRR are the new films scheduled for release until October this year.
First to hit the floors
Almost all the senior heroes, star heroes, and young heroes began shooting for their new movies at a single go. In one of the interviews during Aranya promotions, Rana told a Mumbai reporter that there is no chance to get the camera equipment for rent because of the number of films that are currently in production. Tollywood is the first industry to hit the floors in a full-fledged manner. While Bollywood is struggling to reshuffle the release dates, Tollywood began shoots and confirmed new releases.
The second wave of Corona
The second wave of Corona is certainly something that no one expected. People started shoots, with all necessary precautions but no one expected that a situation like this would come. With the main cast and crew getting infected with the virus, the shoots of new movies are getting postponed and canceled. Already, the makers of F3, Acharya, Narappa, Sarkaru Vaari Paata, and RRR put their film’s shoots on hold. Pawan Kalyan, Dil Raju, Anil Ravipudi, Bandla Ganesh, Nivetha Thomas, and many other prominent personalities tested positive during the second wave of Corona.
Actors staying away from Shoots
A lot of actors and technicians who are in a position to demand are denying to take part in the film’s shoots. There are reports that multiple senior actors have already made it clear to the filmmakers that they won’t travel or take part in new shoots. With key players keeping themselves away from shoots, there is no way that the films can be completed.
Naga Chaitanya’s Love Story and Nani’s Tuck Jagadish were supposed to arrive this month. But, the producers announced the postponement of the same. With these two films getting postponed, a major reshuffle is expected to take place. Already, there are reports of the postponement of Acharya, Narappa, Radhe Shyam, and a few other films.
AP Ticket Hike issue
During the release of Pawan Kalyan’s new film Vakeel Saab, the Andhra Pradesh government created a new GO to reduce the price of movie tickets. It resulted in a big controversy and there were reports that a few theatres might not function if the revised ticket prices will come into implementation. Theatres are key for the survival of the movie industry. How much ever the filmmakers try to shoot films and bring them up for release, the theatres alone will boost up the film business. With the second wave of Corona growing right in front of us, the film industry biggies are keeping their fingers crossed that the theatres will remain open.
Night Curfew & Less Occupancy
On Tuesday, the government of Telangana announced a night curfew in the state. From 9 PM to the next day 5 AM, the night curfew will be in implementation. Because of this, the second shows on single screens and the night shows in multiplexes will stand canceled. The government of Andhra Pradesh already announced a 50 percent restriction in occupancy in film theatres. The government of Telangana might also bring in the same rule in a few days. It is a big threat to the film’s collections.
Tollywood after new rules
Even the small films lined up for this 23rd & 30th April may have to postpone or directly hit the OTT platforms. Already, shoots are kept on hold. Most theatres are going to remain shut and multiplexes may not screen more than 3 shows/screen.
Boost for OTT platforms
With this, the OTT platforms will look at the pending releases with fancy offers. If the situation continues, the filmmakers will have to opt for an OTT release. Last year, V, Nishabdham, Penguin, and many other films released directly on OTT platforms. All the producers may not wait and afford a theatrical release and OTT platforms will cash the same.
The situation currently in Tollywood is surrounded by clouds. There is a lot of uncertainty that we all faced way back in 2020 during the first wave. In this scenario, staying home and safe is the only option. Until the second wave comes down, there will be no progress in the film industry. Not just Tollywood, it is the same for every other industry.
Unfortunately, when people in Tollywood who thought that they equipped themselves with good planning are now disappointed to fall back to square one. All the efforts that went into planning are going in vain with the virus. Still, the filmmakers are not losing hope.
Sometimes, falling back gives time to relax and reinvent. Let us hope that Tollywood looks at this similarly to come up with non-stop entertainment once things return to normalcy!