Kolkata, Oct 3 (PTI) With the Centre permitting cinema halls and plexes to reopen from October 15, one week before the Durga Puja, at least five Bengali films are slated to hit the screens during the festivities.
New releases of Bengali films during Bengal's biggest festival have been a tradition for years as Bengalis divide time between visiting pandals, worshipping the goddess, eating out, meeting people and attending film shows.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had already announced that single screens and plexes can open in October and Centre notifying October 15 as the day of reopening, the decks have been cleared for new releases during this puja but more time is needed for big-budget ones for which more promotion is needed, a spokesman of Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) said.
SVF is releasing Dracula Sir, a common man's story depicting the fight and agony of a teacher, starring Anirban Bhattacharya and actor-MP Mimi Chakraborty and directed by Debaloy Bhattacharya, a spokesperson said.
The big production house, which has plans to release big ticket Sirijit Mukherjea directorial Kakababur Pratyabartan starring Prosenjit Chatterjee and shot in abroad, will wait for some time before timing the release on the fictional world adventurer of writer Sunil Gangopadhyay.
Surinder Films, another production house, will be releasing Rakto Rohosyo starring popular Bengali heroine Koel Mallick and Love Story.
Head of the productions Nishpal Singh Rane said: 'We hope the two films in different genres will be liked by audiences who have been deprived of watching films on big screen for long and would like to have fresh new contents in puja.' While Rakto Rohosyo by young director Soukarjyo Ghosal is a crime thriller, Love Story is a mainstream commercial flick.
Anjan Dutta's Saheber Cutlet about the journey of a chef starring Arjun Chakraborty and thriller SOS Kolkata starring actor-turned MPs Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty will also hit the screens.
Shiboprosad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy's Windows Production is re-releasing, Brahma Janen Gopon Kommoti this puja which had a very good box office during its short stint in theatres before lockdown.
The film has an unconventional storyline about a priest's daughter and her fight to perform rituals busting stereotypes in patriarchy.
Asked if the halls are ready for opening on October 15, Navin Chokhani, the owner of popular Navina cinema, said 'we are making arrangements but yet to get SOP about the gap between two seats and rows from the Centre. That is important to make seating arrangements and start online ticket sales.' He hoped the SOP will be available before the deadline and films can be screened in the festive season.
Cinema halls and plexes in Bengal are closed since March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday issued new guidelines for permitting more activities in areas outside the containment zones that include opening up cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15. PTI SUS RG RG