Bhubaneswar: Theatres shut, shooting halted, and releases postponed. The already struggling Odia film industry (Ollywood) is bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic raising questions about its future. Given the critical situation, production houses are planning to release their films on OTT platforms.
With no films releasing this Raja, it has bitten into the profits of Ollywood. So far, the shooting of six films is in the last leg. Four movies were slated for release during Raja. Releasing a film during this festival draws a huge urban and rural crowd to theatres, resulting in big profits for the producers.
Filmmakers, actors, members, and technicians dependent on this industry along with the audience are dismayed. All entertainment has come to a standstill, taking a toll on the livelihood of the artistes.
The Odisha Cine Artists Association has demanded SOPs and permission to work under strict guidelines from the State Government for shooting films, similar to that of other operating sectors like the hotel industry. It shall enable the direct beneficiaries of the industry to support their families, said the Association.
General editor of the Association, actor Sritam Das demanded that the state government should permit the shooting of new films and provide support to the actors. Secretary of the Odisha Cinema Development Corporation, actor Kuna Tripathy also seconded his views.