ACT 1978: A silver lining amid the pandemic for Kannada cinema

Kannada films
Once hailed for its globally recognised arthouse films in the 70s, Kannada cinema has been creating an impact, of late | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Two years ago, Nathicharami, a critically-acclaimed national award winning Kannada film typically ran in theatres in Karnataka for barely a week before it was pulled out. During the pandemic, the same exhibitors are clamouring to extend screen time for a new film with a hard-hitting message from the same director.

New-age director Mansore’s (Manjunatha Somashekhara Reddy) film, ACT-1978, released in theatres in Karnataka last month. It is now being hailed as a trendsetter in Kannada cinema, for bringing back the fastidious Kannada audience to the theatres.

Even in normal times, just 10% of the movie audience in Karnataka reportedly watch Kannada films. ACT-1978, a tense hostage drama, is however running to houseful shows in multiplexes on weekends and is picking up traction through word of mouth.

In a conversation, an excited Mansore shares, “The theatres are only too eager to keep my film in the theatres today because it is bringing in the audiences. It will probably have an extended run until January.”

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