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Bengali film ‘Tonic’ confirms theatrical release for Durga Puja

Tonic starring Dev and Paran Bandopadhyay has been directed by Avijit Sen and produced by Bengal Talkies and Dev Entertainment VenturesPremium
Tonic starring Dev and Paran Bandopadhyay has been directed by Avijit Sen and produced by Bengal Talkies and Dev Entertainment Ventures

  • The two lockdowns, coupled with consumers remaining wary of returning to cinemas and outdoor entertainment avenues, in general, has spelt doom for the film exhibition business that contracted by 67% in FY21 alone, according to a KPMG report

NEW DELHI: Bengali language film Tonic has confirmed theatrical release this Durga Puja as cinemas gradually resume operations across the country. The film starring Dev and Paran Bandopadhyay has been directed by Avijit Sen and produced by Bengal Talkies and Dev Entertainment Ventures.

Earlier this month, Bengali film production house Shree Venkatesh Films (SVF) had also announced a theatrical movie slate for the coming months as cinemas limp to normalcy across states though several, including Bengal, are yet to issue reopening permits.

Titles on offer by SVF included Mukhosh directed by Birsa Dasgupta slated for 13 August 2021, Golondaaj by Dhrubo Banerjee on 10 October, Ekannoborti by Mainak Bhaumik on 3 November, Kakababur Protyaborton by Srijit Mukherji on 24 December and X=Prem, also by Mukherji on 4 February 2022.

The two lockdowns, coupled with consumers remaining wary of returning to cinemas and outdoor entertainment avenues, in general, has spelt doom for the film exhibition business that contracted by 67% in FY21 alone, according to a KPMG report. However, as restrictions ease now, things are looking up for studios and theatres.

Further, smaller regional language movie industries such as Marathi, Bengali or Punjabi that do not boast of large budgets of Hindi, Tamil and Telugu cinema, are bleeding with the pandemic having brought in losses of 200-300 crore, according to trade experts.

Not only are multiple projects stuck with interest costs mounting, but content in these languages also don't get picked by OTT (over-the-top) streaming platforms, who still prefer to focus on a bunch of major languages that have a bigger draw. Producers have kept all future plans on hold, not green lighting any new films with the bigger worry being whether theatres will allot adequate showcasing to these niche offerings post the pandemic.

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