Crediting OTT platforms for blurring boundaries between cinema from different states, actor Kichcha Sudeep said every film, irrespective of the language, deserves a theatrical release. The actor, who primarily works in Kannada films, said a flow of content from streamers during the pandemic-induced lockdown helped the audience across the country familiarise themselves with different styles of filmmaking.
"There's a commerciality in every state, it's just that not many people are aware of it. We watch content on OTT platforms and today, if COVID-19 hadn't come, I don't think we would have been aware of Korean or Thai series or films. We all had time to look into these lives. Suddenly, we realised there are a lot of people making good films," Sudeep said in response to a query about releasing films as pan-India movies.
He was speaking at the Hindi trailer launch of his upcoming 3D fantasy action-adventure film “Vikrant Rona”, also billed as a pan-India film.
The "Sparsha" star, who has also featured in hits from other languages such as "Eega" (Telugu-Tamil), "Puli" (Tamil), "Rakta Charitra" (Hindi-Telugu) and "Dabangg 3" (Hindi), said he doesn't view other industries as competition.
"Everyone is trying to tell their stories. So, when we say the Telugu industry is coming with a pan-India film, we do not take it as competition. Each one of us is not looking at what others are doing or conning scripts. The Kannada industry is here telling stories, we have survived long enough to say we are here too. It's not just south India, every film deserves to have a theatrical release in their capacity and approach."
Asked if he was hoping to replicate the record-breaking success of the Kannada film "KGF: Chapter 2" with his upcoming movie, he said, "If Rs 1,000 crore makes a person happy, maybe I will do Rs 2,000 crore."
Sudeep was recently in the news following a Twitter debate with Bollywood superstar Ajay Devgn over his ‘Hindi is no longer national language’ comment. India doesn’t have a national language but it has two official languages, Hindi and English, and 22 languages are recognised in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.
Directed by Anup Bhandari, "Vikrant Rona" will be released on July 28 in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, who worked with Sudeep in "Dabangg 3", is presenting the film in north India through his banner Salman Khan Films (SKF). The actor said his relationship with Khan was "not about give and take".
"'Dabangg 3' was my gesture towards him and this is his gesture towards my film. Salman Khan, the person and human that I know, he is okay to do a song, cameo or anything of that sort.
"SKF is close to his heart and I don't think he will associate with our film unless he is confident about the content. He came on board much later after he saw some clipping of the film. He asked if there was anything he could do. And then he came in as a presenter," he added.
Jacqueline Fernandez, who features in the track 'Ra Ra Rakkamma' in "Vikrant Rona", said she rehearsed for 15 days for the song and was happy with the audience's response.
"Every song is special. I was way more nervous in 'Kick'. I was extremely nervous about the song, not knowing what was going to become of it and how I would be performing," she said.
"Vikrant Rona" is presented by Zee Studios and produced by Jack Manjunath via his banner Shalini Artss and co-produced by Alankar Pandian of Invenio Origins.