KOCHI: After the testing days of lockdown, three new Malayalam movie projects were announced on Sunday of which one will hit the floors on Monday. But instead of enthusiasm, the film fraternity seemed to be confused in its response, with a consensus clearly missing. A majority believes priority should be given to complete the 66 projects that got stuck midway due to the lockdown and following that a road map should be prepared before starting new projects in a big way.
The new projects are by editor- director Mahesh Narayan of Take Off fame; by producer Ashiq Usman whose Anjaam Pathira was the first blockbuster of 2020; and Hager by Aashiq Abu’s production house, directed by Unda scriptwriter Harshad with Rima Kallingal and Sharafudheen in the lead. The Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) criticised the move while a section of technicians supported it straightaway.
“We’ve come to know from the social media posts of Ashiq Usman that the shooting of the new movie being produced by him will begin in Kochi on Monday. The KFPA had decided that shooting of new movies would begin only after devising a proper plan, taking the post- Covid scenario into consideration. As many as 66 movies are stuck due to the pandemic. Mahesh Narayan has already informed us that his new project is a 70-minute short film exclusively for OTT platform release. We don’t know the details of the other two,” said KFPA president Rejaputhra Renjith.
“There is no need for any controversy or challenging KFPA openly. The association had already discussed the ongoing crisis with the theatre owners and distributors. That’s how we finalised our priorities. Those who want to go ahead with new movies can do that. The association can’t support them, that’s it,” he said. USMAN said the shooting of the movie with actor Shine Tom Chacko in the lead will begin on Monday, adhering to Covid protocol.
“Details including whether it’ll be released on OTT platform or in theatres will be announced in the coming days,” he said. The makers also urged the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) to provide technicians for shooting.
“We’ve received the letter from the director and producer in this regard. FEFKA will lend full support to them. We believe the commencement of shooting will help break the inertia caused by the pandemic and its effect on the industry. Moreover, it’ll also be a great relief to the workers who have been jobless after the shooting was stopped,” said FEFKA secretary Unnikrishnan B.