With Silambarasan-starrer Maanaadu set to hit theatres on Thursday, the producer of the film, Suresh Kamatchi, has appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to reconsider its decision to allow public into cinema halls only upon showing proof that they are vaccinated.
Recently, Tamil Nadu’s Directorate of Public Health issued a circular to announce that theatres and other public places in the state can only be occupied by vaccinated people and proof of vaccination will required for entry into such premises.
Following this, Maanaadu’s producer Suresh has expressed concerns that the new mandate will affect the film industry by drastically reducing footfall in theatres.
Addressing the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, in his statement on Monday, Suresh notes that movie theatres, which have suffered greatly due to the pandemic, have only just begun to revive thanks to big films such as Annaatthe. Further noting that the decision to allow full occupancy in cinema halls came as a boon to the industry, the producer adds, “Vaccination is not yet mandatory worldwide. No vaccine has yet been found for those under the age of 18. And yet, they go to schools and are allowed in public places.”
The producer said he therefore requests the state government to also allow people over 18 years to enter cinema halls without vaccination proof.
With the vaccination of the public being carried out well under the current rule, Suresh adds, Covid-19 infection has been brought under control and people are taking steps to protect themselves by using masks and sanitisers. “The order that only vaccinated people should be allowed in theatres at this stage will greatly affect the film industry. Even those who do not have an Android phone will come to the movies and such people will avoid coming to the theatres if you ask them to bring a vaccination certificate. If turned away for this reason, they may never come to the theatres again,” he writes.
The producer concludes by asking the state government to reconsider the decision to make vaccination proof mandatory to enter cinema halls and thus protect the film industry.
Directed by Venkat Prabhu, Maanaadu also stars actors SJ Suryah, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Daniel Annie Pope, YG Mahendran, SA Chandrasekhar, and Premji. It is expected to be a political thriller that revolves around a time loop. The film was originally supposed to be a Diwali release but opted out of the race.