There is a lot to look forward to in 2021. Among the many things, movie buffs can rest assured that Punjabi cinema will come out with some promising content, unlike last year when we saw not a single release post mid-March. But there are some factors at play and certain calculations to be made. For one and among the top priorities is the covid vaccine.
“Many films have been shot during 2020 with an anticipation of being released in 2021; most likely, once the vaccine is available in the market things are expected to get back to normal for cinemas. It is important because only then we can see a decent footfall at theatres,” say Gunbir Singh, producer-director, White Hills Studio.
Also, counting on the vaccine is Munish Sahni of production-distribution company Omjee Star Studios. Citing the names of over 20 films, including Shooter, Chal Mera Putt 2, Posti, Maa, Men In Black, Beautiful Billo, Paani Ch Madhaani and Daakuan Da Munda 2, Munish says, “We are hoping and looking forward to release Punjabi films from March-April onwards. Hopefully, the vaccine will be available by that time so that audience can come back to theatres in a stress-free manner. It will be an exciting time as after almost a year we will get to see a lot of diverse and entertaining content.”
Although cinemas in India are open but that’s only half the story. Until the market opens up in other countries, the business is still at stake. Karaj Gill, producer-distributor Rhythm Boys, explains, “Punjabi films do an equal or maybe more business overseas. With lockdowns still happening in countries like the UK, it is a wait-and-watch situation. Vaccine is imperative but even more weightage will be given to how willing the public is towards visiting theatres. Once that happens, we have six films ready for release.”
There’s good news still. No matter what, Ammy Virk, Sonam Bajwa-starrer Puada will see the light of day within the first quarter of 2021. “We are chalking out a plan. Theatrical release is the first option but if things don’t go as planned, we may even straight go for OTT,” affirms Pawan Gill, producer Brat Films.
Pawan says the disparity between Hindi and Punjabi films needs to go. “For Hindi film the cinema chains in Punjab give 50 per cent in first week, 42 per cent in second week, 38 per cent in third week and 30 per cent in fourth week. Whereas, for Punjabi films that too in Punjab only, they give 48 per cent in the first week, 38 per cent in second week and 30 per cent third week onwards. This approach should change, especially at a time like this when business is bad and films get pirated overnight that kills our other businesses,” he says.
Some of the Punjabi films that are ready for release in 2021:
- Puaada: Ammy Virk, Sonam Bajwa
- Jodi: Diljit Dosanjh, Nimrat Khaira
- Chal Mera Putt 2: Amrinder Gill, Simi Chahal and others
- Paini Ch Madaani: Gippy Grewal, Neeru Bajwa
- Dharti 2: Jimmy Shergill and Dec Kharod
- Saunkan Saunkane: Ammy Virk, Sargun Mehta, Nimrat Khaira
- Main Vyah Nahi Karona Tera Naal: Gurnam Bhullar, Sonam Bajwa
- Soreya Da Pind: Gurnam Bhullar, Sargun Mehta
- Phatte Chak Dinde Punjabi: Gippy Grewal, Neeru Bajwa and others