‘No Future Now’: Film Director Opens Grocery Store Due to COVID-19
Director Anand was excited for the release of Naanum Pei Dhaan and Thuninthu Sei, but looks like they are shelved.
With film shooting completely halted due to the lockdown, a Chennai-based film director Anand had opened a provision store to earn for his family during the coronavirus pandemic. Being in the Tamil film industry for over 10 years, he has been a proud maker of budget films and has always stayed true to art.
He was excited for the release of Naanum Pei Dhaan and Thuninthu Sei but looks like these movies are shelved for a long time now. Bored at home, when the lockdown was extended in April, he decided to turn to the one business that has been allowed during the lockdown - a grocery store.
Reunited After 20 Years With a Friend, Who Gave Him the Shop
He began learning the trade and formulated the idea by May.
“What was really interesting is when I was looking for a space to set up shop, I saw many places which were up for grabs. I went to Moulivakkam, saw a TO-LET board, called up the number and guess what -- it was my childhood friend! I was meeting him after 20 years,” he told The Quint.
He said that many “found it absurd that while people were closing businesses because of the mounting losses, why am I starting something new?”
“Many have criticised me saying that I am a creative person and asked what I am doing with provisions. I told them that I wanted to do something good for myself and the people during this time.”Anand, Film Director
His cameraperson has also joined him at work.
He is currently providing direct employment to four persons and several others indirectly. His business motto has been to ensure people have access to essentials at affordable rates as several shops seem to be selling provisions at a higher rate due to increased demand during the lockdown.
“Thuvaram paruppu (split gram lentil) is being charged Rs 120 per kilo, but I sell at only Rs 100. And also, if people walk in without masks I give them one for free,” he said.
He lives with his mother, wife and son and said that the business is flourishing and he is quite happy with the move.
‘Making Budget Films Became More Difficult’
Anand has always believed in making films with actors who aren’t the who’s-who of the industry. But it has always been a struggle, he points out.
“Budget films anyway never get space in theatres and they usually never make much money. A lot of people don’t even come to the theatre to watch such films,” he said.
And now no there is no future. As far I can see, there is no hope for us.Anand, Film Director
Anand said that the situation is more grave for the assistant directors, light men, make-up artistes, who have all returned to their hometowns as they have not been able to even afford the rent with no incomes.
However, with even top actors like Jyothika releasing their content-based films on OTT platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hotstar, Anand believes that this is the only saving grace.
“I will be very very happy to release my films online because as a filmmaker I want a good audience and these platforms provide that. But for that, we still need to be able to get out and shoot and edit and we don’t see that happening now.”Anand, Film Director
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