Haranath Chakraborty: Number of hall going audience depleted much before pandemic

The overwhelming participation of people at the recently concluded Kolkata International film Festival came as a ray of hope for the stakeholders in Tollywood that saw a cold response at the cinema halls after the operation restarted post lockdown. What’s keeping the audience away from the halls is still baffling the stakeholders.

Filmmaker Haranath Chakraborty believes one of the main reasons is the COVID fear. “I had a word with several hall owners and realized that it is primarily due to the fear. However, the pandemic is not the only reason. The number of audience going to the theatres started depleting much before the coronavirus outbreak. This has been the scene for a while. I think we all need to come together and create content that will bring the audience back to the theatres,” the filmmaker explained.

Actor Arjun Chakrabarty whose film ‘Avijatrik’ saw a houseful show during KIFF at Nandan II said, “Not just the festival and not just for one film, we have been longing to see this audience for a while now. Almost everything is operational now. Air travel has started, shops and markets have opened. People are eating out. It is confusing why people are still skeptical about going to a movie theatre. I hope this festival marks the change.”

However, KIFF drawing hundreds of movie lovers on a daily basis for a week is surely a piece of good news for the Bengali film industry.