The 1980s were termed the golden era of Malayalam cinema, because of the freshness of theme in the films that reached theatres during that period. I think, the year 2016 was also a golden one as we had many good films including Maheshinte Prathikaram, Anuraga Karikkinvellam, Pulimurugan and Aanandam.
That means our industry was making a comeback. In fact, as a filmmaker, I was expecting a good year ahead. But in this scenario — theatre strike — how can we make a guess on the future of our industry? There is no doubt that this strike won't benefit our industry, on the contrary, it may destroy it. This unnecessary strike has come in the way of maintaining the momentum of our victories in 2016.
Each year, we have three festival seasons — Vishu, Onam and Christmas. In that, Christmas is the season in which more people come to the theatres, because of good climate and the vacation. It was sad that in the year gone by, none of us could release our films.
Instead of stopping the releases, they could have discussed the contentious issues during the off-season. My point is that our government should insist each and every organization in the film industry to ensure festival releases as it is the right of common man to watch movies at cine halls.
None of us have the right to stop releases.We can expect a good 2017 for cinema. But for that, first the office bearers of the organisation, which is stalling the release citing their demand for more share, should solve their problems and come forward to screen new Malayalam films.
Sathyan Anthikad is a leading filmmaker
(As told to Aravind K.S)