Bangalore, January 24 - The Kannada film industry is heaving a sigh of relief after the Karnataka government decides to lift the weekend curfew, imposed two weeks ago. This news comes at a time when the film industry is looking for revival after a major setback caused by the second covid-19 wave.
Earlier, just when the Kannada film industry was set for the blockbuster opening of the year, the 3rd covid wave forced the government to announce fresh restrictions in the state. However, with the 3rd wave not resulting in a surge in hospitalization and the recovery rate also being high, the government withdrew its decision of weekend curfew.
Most of the theatres across the state, which had been closed for two weeks because of the weekend curfew, are all set to reopen and welcome audiences. Though the state government is permitting only 50 percent occupancy at present, multiple reports have suggested that 100 percent occupancy will be allowed by the next weekend.
Meanwhile, the filmmakers have started rescheduling the release dates of their movies, which were supposed to release two weeks ago. Among the first Kannada films to release in the state after the reopening of cinemas is "DNA", which is slated to hit theaters this week, followed by "Obhattane Dikku", starring Yogesh on January 28.
However, the fans are waiting for the release of Rakshith Shetty's "777 Charlie", Darling Krishna, and Milana's "Love Mocktail 2", Kichcha Sudeepa's Pan-India film "Vikrant Rona", among other Kannada movies. "777 Charlie" was supposed to release last year. The makers will now announce the new release date in the next few days.
Kichcha Sudeepa's big-budget 3D adventure film "Vikrant Rona" is slated for February 24 release, and it looks like the movie will go ahead with its planned release. Interestingly, makers had received a whopping Rs. 100 crores offer from the leading OTT giant for its direct OTT release but rejected it stating that it is made for the big screen experience.
Meanwhile, the team helming the much-anticipated "Bairagee", starring Shivarajkumar and Dhananjay, has announced the completion of the shooting. The team is all set to launch the teaser soon. Shivarajkumar's last film "Bhajarangi 2" was released on October 29 last year. It opened well at the box before got a major jolt due to the death of Shiva Rajkumar's brother Puneeth.
Last year, the Kannada films were able to catch the attention of movie lovers before and after the second covid-19 wave. Darhsna's "Roberrt", Dhruva Sarja, and Rashmika Mandanna's "Pogaru", late Puneeth Rajkumar's "Yuvarathnaa", Kichcha Sudeepa's "Kotigobba 3", and Duniya Vijay's "Salaga" did very well at the box office. It showed the confidence of the audience visiting the cinema halls and the film industry will be hoping for the same going forward.