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Is the film and telly industry strong enough to withstand another Covid crisis and another lockdown?

Just as the Bollywood calendar was dotted with big releases, and stars were shooting in full swing – Covid cases spiked, inviting curbs. Adding to the woes, a host of film stars turned Covid positive. Akshay Kumar, Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar, Alia Bhatt, Govinda and Ritwik Bhowmik are the new names adding to the ever-rising Covid tally. Paresh Rawal, Kartik Aaryan, Ranbir Kapoor, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Tara Sutaria, Aamir Khan, Sidhant Chaturvedi, Manoj Bajpayee, Satish Kaushik and Bappi Lahiri had contracted Covid just a month before.

With stars under quarantine, shoots delayed and restrictions in order, as the Maharashtra government imposed another lockdown – closing restaurants, malls, cinemas, looks like entertainment industry is again staring at the same scenario as last year. Would OTT come to rescue, how would the film fraternity deal with the second wave?

Jolt after jolt
Film critic Taran Adarsh calls it a rather tough ‘wait and watch’ phase. “Year 2020 was the most difficult year for the film industry, I am not just referring to the Hindi film industry but globally these were the dark times.” The second wave has brought everything back to square one. Nobody is in a position to comment. “So far, release dates for three of the films – Bunty Aur Babli 2, Haathi Mere Saathi Hindi and Amitabh Bachchan’s Chehre have been deferred. All we can do at the moment is to wait and watch,” he says. Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starrer, Sooryavanshi’s release has been postponed too. Tribune India

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