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KATHMANDU: Like other sectors, COVID-19 has impacted the film industry adversely. In China alone, 70000 cinema halls are shut down. The scheduled release of hundreds of films had to be postponed.
China is about to regain its domestic market. Almost after two months total shut down, China is planning to reopen its cinema halls. Yet, how much time it may take is still uncertain.
China is regarded as the second-largest film market in the world.
‘No time to Die’ was the first movie to get its major release change from April to November. After this many movies took the decision of changing the date. ‘Mulan’, ‘Black Widow’, ‘Fast and Furious 9’. Universal delayed the ‘F9’ release nearly for a year.
According to The Guardian, more than 120 thousand people working in Hollywood are sans role now. Thousands of such workers have appealed for help.
Cannes Film Festival, one of the largest film festivals in the world is postponed for long. The filming, film-festivals and all movie-related works are postponed indefinitely.
COVID has affected India’s movie industry as well. After PM Modi’s declaration of ‘Janata Curfew,’ all cinema halls are shut down. The 21-day long lockdown of the whole country has smashed the industry into pieces.
‘Baaghi 3’ which had an encouraging start initially had to go down soon. The movie which had a good profit in the first week in the Box Office has seen bad days for the last few weeks.
Like Hollywood, Bollywood has also canceled or postponed their scheduled film-related activities. Bollywood celebrities are in leisure now.
As a stringent measure against coronavirus, the Nepal government has also ordered the closure of all cinema halls and theaters all over the country.
The government here has ordered the closure of movie theaters till Apr 30. Sudarshan Thapa directed ‘Ma Yasto Geet Gaunchhu’ which was scheduled for Mar.13 has to forego uncertain release. ‘Neerphul’ scheduled for Mar. 20 is postponed as well.
‘Lakka Jawan’, ‘Chapali Height-3’ and ‘Premgeet 3’ won’t be released soon.
All film activities including the shooting schedules are postponed until further notice.
Gopal Kaji Kayastha, the distributor of Nepali films tells that one and half months closure means the loss of more than 100 million rupees. “Millions of rupees invested in the industry goes wasted discouraging producers,” he added.
The shooting of ‘Ke Ghar Ke Dera’, ‘A Mero Hajur -4’ ‘Dui Nambari’ etc. is postponed.
This has worsened the employment situation as the direct and indirect employment of this sector is also adversely influenced by it.
“Making of a movie offers direct and indirect employment to nearly a hundred people on average. When the theaters are closed the staff there also lose their employment.” Kayastha explained the chain effect of the closure.
He told Khabarhub that it was the worst situation in his forty years of history in the industry. He added that the industry had not faced such days in the 2015 earthquake and even during the 10-year long conflict.
“When a person coughs, the surrounding becomes terrified,” Pushpa Khadka, an actor in Kathmandu speaks about the terror created by corona, “though there is no earning, health is our prime concern.” Khadka thinks it everyone’s duty to abide by the government directives to stay at home.
The film artists have launched various campaigns for awareness against COVID-19.
Superstar Rajesh Hamal has shared an awareness video on his social media asking everyone to be alert and maintain sanitation. “Stay inside and wash your hands carefully,” he has shared on the Facebook wall.
Like Hamal, Nikhil Upreti, Hari Bamsha Acharya, Sita Ram Kattel, Rekha Thapa, Swostima Khadka, Samragyi Rajya Laxmi Shah, Keki Adhikari all have requested their followers and fans to help in a government campaign against COVID-19 in the way they can.