Shivarajkumar: It’s now a question of survival for producers
Shivarajkumar opens about films taking the OTT route. The Kannada star hopes theatres will reopen soon
Shivarajkumar, the Hat-trick hero of the Kannada industry has, like several others, stayed put during this lockdown. The Century Star has been providing Covid relief, distributing food kits, and feeding over 500 people every day through his initiative Aasare, and will continue this initiative until the lockdown is lifted. In addition, the actor has also made a contribution to workers of the film unit who have been hit by the pandemic. “It is important to make sure they are fed. Food is the need of the hour,” he says.
With the slowdown of Covid cases in Karnataka, Shivarajkumar sees a ray of hope in things improving in the next 10 days. He hopes that this will translate into the film industry getting back to work. “Producers of my films as well as other producers are in constant touch with me over phone. With the government planning to unlock the state in the next few days, plans are on to slowly re-open entertainment activities. Opening of theatres will help sustain the industry,” says Shivanna, who also stresses the importance of everyone in the film industry getting their jab. "In the early part of the year, things were getting back to normal, but the unprecedented second wave has hit the industry badly. I hope everything gets better and there is a sense of confidence that the industry will return to normalcy,” he adds.
One of the busiest actors in Sandalwood, Shivanna has been awaiting the release of Bhajarangi 2, and was shooting for Vijay Milton’s project which is in the last leg of shooting. Meanwhile, the actor plans to start his next project with director Ram Dhulipudi. The 125th project will have Shivanna associating with A Harsha and is titled Vedha. He has also given a green signal to director Nanda Kishore for his project. “There is no option left now but to speed up,” he says.
Shivanna, who feels theatre reopening is important, also opines that OTT platforms are the next best option. “We have to look at the OTT route too, mainly because it is a question of producers’ survival. It also depends on the kind of projects coming up. I have been noticing big-star films coming on various streaming channels. It is not a bad idea. We have to wait and watch,” he says. So is the rumour about his upcoming film Bhajarangi 2, directed by Harsha under Jayanna Combines, taking the OTT route, true? “Nothing is planned as yet,” he says.