Malayalam film Love, starring Rajisha Vijayan and Shine Tom Chacko, has been slated to release in theatres in the Gulf on October 15 with Covid-19 related safety measures in place. It will become the first Indian film to release in cinemas post lockdown, producer Ashiq Usman posted on social media, on Wednesday.
Written and directed by Khalid Rahman, the film was one of the first to resume shooting once shooting was permitted in the ‘unlock’ phase and was shot indoors during the lockdown. While the director’s brother Jimshi Khalid was in charge of cinematography, Yakzan Gary Pereira and Neha Nair composed the music. The 90-minute film was shot at an apartment complex in Kochi where the entire crew had shifted.
“Hi everyone, hope you’ll are doing well & safe? My upcoming film “LOVE”is the first Indian film to release in Cinemas post the lockdown. It’s set to release in the Gulf on 15th October with all necessary precautions for a safe experience. To know more on my latest release, do follow our gulf distributors @homescreenentertainment & @goldencinemagcc So watch our movie in theatres for the experience we’ve all been missing for a while! Stay safe & Loads of “Love”, always!” Ashiq Usman wrote on Instagram on Wednesday.
The latest poster of the film reads: “First Indian movie to release theatrically outside India post the pandemic lockdown.” The trailer of the film released on August 28. It has been billed as dark humour and will be bankrolled under the Ashiq Usman Productions banner.
In an interview with The Hindu, the director had said that with restrictions in place, the shoot was completed within 24 days with a crew of 28 people.
The decision to release this film comes at a time when theatre owners are still undecided over reopening cinema halls. While the Central government has allowed theatres to function from October 15, there is no confirmation of the same from the Kerala government. Owners are unsure of resuming screening over the possibility of incurring losses due to the mandatory reduced seating capacity and no response regarding the request for exemption of entertainment tax.
The Kerala Film Chamber requested the chief minister on October 2 to reduce electricity tariffs, among other demands. The Film Producers’ Association has stated that new films will not be released till the entertainment tax is withdrawn.
After Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift the ban on cinemas in 2018, Gulf Cooperation Council countries have provided for a new playing field for Indian films to release. With a thriving Indian population, especially Malayalis, their films are in high demand.
As per a report from the Arabian Business, films like Kumbalangi Nights and Oru Adaar Love raked in high profits at the box office. Hindi films like Kesari, Gully Boy and Uri: The Surgical Strike have successfully pulled crowds to the cinemas.
Mahesh Narayanan‘s C U Soon, starring Fahadh Faasil, Roshan Mathew and Darshana Rajendran, was another Malayalam film that was shot during the lockdown and released on Amazon Prime in September.