Ken Ghosh: Theatres reopening was the much required litmus test, only time will decide the outcome of the decision
The magnanimity of the pandemic that has hit us hard is evident in the way it has brought life to a halt. Efforts are being made to bring things back to normal as much as possible. Every sector is striving hard, so is the film industry. This industry provides employment to lakhs of people. And when I say film industry, I am going all the way down to the exhibition sector as well, you have people who make the pop corn, sell water, soft drinks, make samosas that are sold in theatres… all of their livelihood have been affected. I remember seeing a daily wage worker saying in an interview that ‘I don’t know if the virus will kill me but if I don’t start working, me and my family will definitely starve’. So things needed to get started but obviously people’s health and life are of paramount importance.
At the end of the day, this is the decision an individual needs to take whether he feels comfortable going to the theatre or not. And the onus is on the theatres to build the confidence that they have all the safety measures in place. Personally, I have shot for 45 days for a web series titled Abhay 2 once the lockdown was lifted. So I can tell you that if you are careful with the basics, maintain social distancing, keep your masks on, sanistise the area and make sure your hands are clean, everything should be fine. We were lucky to not have any cases.
Coming back to theatres, there are many who have a passion for films and they would like to go back to watching movies on the big screen. But I suppose the first couple of weeks will be an eye opener as to whether people are going to comeback or not. I have a feeling that this might work out in a slower pace, which of course is understandable. As far as film releases are concerned, the small films that wouldn’t have got a theatrical release are all coming on OTT and doing very well. These days a lot of good content are being made on OTT. So I think we have somewhat reached a happy balance for the time being where theatres will be for big budget projects and OTT is for high content films.
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