Yoodlee Films, the prolific makers of quirky, critically acclaimed films in multiple languages for both the big screens and OTT platforms, are looking ahead with optimism in 2021, for their film. The studio is hopeful that ‘Zombivali’, the first Marathi horror comedy film featuring zombies, which had kicked up quite some conversation with its poster launch earlier, will enjoy a full-fledged safe theatrical release. Directed by Aditya Sarpotdar, ‘Zombivali’ is a witty take on the issue of rampant commercialisation even as it explores the zombie genre with a comic twist. The film stars Amey Wagh, Lalit Prabhakar, and Vaidehi Parshurami.
Having faced an unprecedented set of circumstances since 24th March, owing to COVID-19, the film industry for months remained shut. Without recourse to theatrical releases, many films released on OTT platforms but things are poised to change. The government of India has permitted theatres to re-open with 50 per cent occupancy from 15th October with mandatory SOPs in place. However, exhibitors and filmmakers know that there is a long way to go before complete normalcy can be taken for granted.
Yoodlee films though eager to make ‘Zombivali’ their first theatrical release in 2021 have also adopted a wait-and-watch approach at this point. Says Siddharth Anand, Vice President, – Films & Events at Saregama India Ltd, “It’s good news that the government has facilitated the reopening of theatres. This is the much-needed fillip that we were hoping for, given the grim situation we have faced in the last six months. We will however assess the behavioural patterns of cine-goers for the next couple of months, and will draft a release strategy for our forthcoming films. Our Marathi horror comedy Zombivli, is getting into the post-production phase now, and we are hoping that we will get an ideal release situation in the coming months. We certainly don’t intend to rush into a theatrical release, unless and until a semblance of normalcy is seen with the audiences.”
Siddharth is clear though that the production house, known for films like Ajji, Hamid, Music Teacher, Kanpuriye, Chaman Bahaar, Axone, Nobleman, and regional stories like K.D (Tamil), will continue to break new ground. As he says, “After Tamil and Marathi, we want to make films in various regional languages and tell fresh stories rooted in unexplored milieus. For us the story and the narrative is important – the language is incidental. We just hope, releasing films in theatres becomes less fraught with uncertainty in the months to come.”