Anand Pandit on August 27 release for ‘Chehre’: I’m hopeful that with the declaration of two or more theatrical releases, even the government will feel some pressure to open theatres – Eagles Vine

After the Akshay Kumar-led ‘Bell Bottom’, Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi, Krystal D’Souza, and Rhea Chakraborty-starrer ‘Chehre’ is set to become another film to open in theatres in the aftermath of the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak. Today, the makers of the film made the announcement much to the delight of an entertainment-starved audience who is looking for fresh content to hit the theatres. ETimes reached out to the producer of the film, Anand Pandit, who says their brave move might inspire other filmmakers to take a leap of faith and save the livelihoods of thousands working in the film industry. Excerpts from an interaction:

anand pandit

‘Chehre’ is finally releasing in theatres as you always wanted. Happy?

I’m so happy! This was a commitment to everyone that I’m fulfilling now. I had promised to bring the film to the theatres and not OTT.

Why were you so averse to an OTT release?

I say, ‘Why not theatre?’ OTT has emerged as an option only for the last 1-3 years but these theatres have made our life for ages. Why ditch them now? This time the theatre needs helps. While people are doing a lot of charity–by starting hospitals and distributing oxygen or food kit–why not help our own community? Almost 1 billion people are directly or indirectly connected to Bollywood and currently, most of them are sitting at home, unemployed. Everyone has problems. Apart from one or two producers, no one wants to risk theatrical releases right now because of the financial loss it threatens but someone has to do it. So, we took the conscious decision knowing that even if we have to bear some loss, we should at least start. Cinema has been taking care of us for almost 70-80 years, it’s time we do our part. Why not we take care of them by announcing just one film? My aim is to just indirectly help the exhibitor industry.

Theatres in Maharashtra have still not opened, are you worried about losing out on a big chunk of revenue at the box office?

I’m actually not! We have consciously taken this decision. Though not in Maharashtra, we will release the film full-fledged in India. All India makes up for around 80 per cent of revenue; we understand we will be losing out 20 per cent because of Maharastra, but it’s okay. Let’s start somewhere. I’m hopeful that with the declaration of two or more theatrical releases, even the government will feel some pressure to open theatres. Everything is opening from tomorrow–trains will be running, restaurants and bars will open up, so, why just victimise exhibitors? Now everyone knows how to take care of themselves and after the vaccination drive, people have got the confidence too.

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The Times of India

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