Tamil Nadu is going through complete lockdown as part of the nation wide Lockdown21 announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the night of March 24. The lockdown is to stop the spread of coronavirus. On the evening of April 6, Tamil Nadu COVID19 tally reached 621 with 6 dead, the second highest number of coronavirus cases in India.
As per schedule the Lockdown21 is up to April 14. Now the big question is whether the lockdown will be lifted on April 14, as India is fast approaching Stage 3 of the coronavirus pandemic. The government has hinted that the lockdown will continue for some more weeks. The final decision will be taken in the next few days.
So it is clear that lockdown is most likely to be extended, which means shutdown will continue. Nobody has any clear idea when this nightmare of COVID19 will end, as China where it was first discovered is yet to ease lockdown formalities in Wuhan. And since Tamil Nadu is one of the worst hit states, the lockdown is expected to go on till end May.
Now coming to film industry, worldwide where Coronovirus has ravaged so many countries and opening of cinema halls will be the least of priorities. Similarly in India entertainment and live sports event will take months to open up. Already the All India Multiplexes association has sounded the alarm bells by appealing to the landlords and mall owners to waive of rent and CAM for all multiplexes during lockdown period ordered by the government. And even if they open screens they will have to remove seats between patrons to keep the “social distancing” , the new norm. Plus after that sanitising of cinema halls to stop the spread of the disease.
The lockdown even if it is lifted will only be partial, with only the essential industries opening up. And with cinema being low priority the earliest that theatres are likely to open is by June or July. Some of the big summer Tamil releases are now looking realistically at a Independence Day release on August 15. And shooting will resume only when things are better and lockdown on cinema is lifted.