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Of all the film industries, Malayalam can probably get back up fastest: Rana Daggubati


The actor was part of a web-series panel discussion by Naik Naik & Company that looked at the entertainment industry and how it has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The theme, Reinvent and Rediscover, by talent and talent managers, respectively, was spoken about at the third session of Naik Naik & Company’s web-series on Facebook Live featuring actors Rana Daggubati and Jackky Bhagnani, actress Huma Qureshi, filmmakers Sanjay Gupta and Madhur Bhandarkar, Kwon Talent Management CEO and co-founder Vijay Subramanium, Matter Advisors managing partner Caleb Franklin and Only Much Louder CEO Gunjan Arya.

The three-day initiative was held on 15, 16 and 17 May and the engaging discussion of the third session shed light upon what might be in store for the entertainment industry as it adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic. Daggubati felt that society would take on the changes and adapt.

“Human beings will adapt to change very soon and that applies to actors as well,” he said. “If there is only one particular way things are done, then that’s the only way they will be done.

“I speak from Hyderabad and I speak from a different movie industry as compared to Hindi cinema where rules are slightly different,” Daggubati continued. “In all of the industries that will get back, probably the Malayalam industry can get back much faster than all of us because they use the smallest units and so they can get cinema done very quickly. They have very limited resources and they have made big cinema with that. It’s not very hard to adapt to the change of working with minimum resources and I’m sure other industries too will adapt to this change very fast.”

Qureshi felt that the lockdown is a great time for content developers, whether in long or short format, as it all depends on the writing. “I’ve had a very interesting conversation with a writer friend of mine as to what people are interested in watching these days, like something gritty or hard-hitting maybe... but everybody in the room was of the opinion that people want to see something lighter, as there is so much of moroseness and death reports due to COVID-19,” she said.

“Then I saw Paatal Lok and it just blew me away. It’s really good-quality writing and really good content. So again, these are presumptions that we go by, as people keep saying, ‘abhi toh yeh chalne wala hai’. We have to be open to the new world and new challenges and have to be adaptable to what it is going to be,” she continued.

Sharing his view on theatre and OTT mediums, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said, “The content narrative has changed drastically over the last few years with the advent of OTT [over-the-top platforms]. There seems to be a paradigm shift post-COVID and the whole thing of the entourage, marketing has to be reassessed. Talent will always be there and cinema also will always be there. But at the same time, OTT has given a good break to the talent, in terms of writing, actors, directors and everybody. Both cinema and OTT are going to co-exist and they would have a good dream run.”

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