- Unlock 3.0 will be shortly upon us and a few of the sectors that are yet to see the day of light post lockdown measures are going to be expectantly waiting for favorable guidelines. Prominent among them would be reopening of cinema theatres, gymnasiums, swimming pools, holding sports competitions, marriage halls, and allowing some such other larger congregations. These relevant day-to-day routine activities are locked since March and representatives would be hoping that the government accords go-ahead to restart again.
- Though few state governments have permitted television and film industries to resume shooting activities by strictly mandating observing health and safety guidelines, interim lockdowns imposed by some state governments have put paid to their hopes of uninterrupted schedules. Case in point is Karnataka where the recent week-long lockdown disrupted the flow of television serial shootings that had resumed recently. Such uncertainties not only affects the continuity factor but also dents the already strained financial resources as well.
- The entertainment industry would be pinning their hopes for concrete respite as a slew of big-budget projects under the aegis of prominent production houses are in the limbo and would welcome any moves that allow filming activities to continue without any interruptions. Unfolding scenario vis-à-vis plateauing and/or flattening of the virus curve in the country still looks as distant as scaling Mount Everest during the winter season. As such, nurturing too many hopes for the entertainment industry to freely go about their tasks is premature, I guess.
PC: digital market
- Few production houses did release their completed projects using the OTT digital media platforms to mitigate mounting losses but were found to be wanting in garnering the eyeballs as envisaged. A couple of movies released had one of the biggest names in the Indian film industry and despite that the lukewarm response generated would not only worry the producers aiming for OTT release but also would discourage from exploring similar alternatives. That leaves time-tested conventional theatrical release as the only viable option.
- In this regard, the Union Government’s much anticipated favorable move to open up cinema halls could breathe in a much needed fresh air into the struggling film industry. What would be waited with bated breath is to understand the implications of mandatorily maintaining social distancing norms in the theatres, as and when the guidelines are issued. It is understood that 25% occupancy in a theatre hall would be permitted and how exactly feasible to run a theatre with such low capacity requires further deliberations by the concerned stakeholders.
- Another moot point to ponder over here is whether the movie-watchers be equally enthused to visit a cinema hall despite knowing the fact that the virus threat still lurks around. Testing times indeed but has to move on for sure!