Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai)

‘I don’t see cinemas dying anytime soon’

- Titas Chowdhury ANI

With three digital releases this year, actor Vijay Varma believes that OTT platforms are providing a much-needed respite to the audience during this time of panic and stress. “Everybody has turned to entertainm­ent now. So, we can realise the importance of storytelli­ng. It’s a great place for people to escape from the daily humdrums of their lives,” he says.

He adds that OTT platforms are “a great place to bond” due to the conversati­ons they give rise to, and the global exposure that audiences get in terms of content. He says, “Language is no barrier. We’re even watching Mexican shows. It’s like sitting at home and getting to travel and be part of other people’s minds and households. We’re lucky that OTT platforms are running in full capacity right now.”

The Gully Boy (2019) actor, however, says that despite facing competitio­n from the digital space, cinema halls will continue to thrive in the coming months. “Nothing can replace the magic of watching a film at a theatre. It’s a community experience. We aren’t distracted by the fact that there are other people around us. Cinema halls have a larger-than-life screen,” he says.

Varma points out that both the mediums have now merged and they will continue to co-exist.

“People are setting up their homes with big screens and great audio systems. Some watch films and shows on their phones but once they connect their headphones, it makes for an immersive experience. It’s great that we have the choice of watching a film at a theatre with our families and on our mobile phone screens in the comfort of our homes,” he explains.

The actor asserts that the debate about theatres and multiplexe­s witnessing a fall in their businesses is futile. “I don’t see cinema dying anytime soon. It will only flourish henceforth, because we’ve understood the importance of it during the lockdown. When television came, many believed that cinema was going to die but it didn’t. Cinema evolved and it survived,” he concludes.

American actor Kelly Preston’s daughter Ella Travolta honoured her late mother for having a “light that never ceases to shine” in a moving tribute following Preston’s demise after a two-year-long battle with breast cancer.

She posted a picture of her mother on Instagram, the caption for which read, “I have never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful and loving as you. Anyone who is lucky nough to have known you or to have ver been in your presence will agree that you have a low and a ight that never eases to shine and that makes anyone around you feel nstantly happy. Thank you for eing there for me no matter what. Thank you or your love. Thank you for your help and hank you for making this world a better lace. You have made life so beautiful and I know you will continue to do so always. I love you so much mama.”

Preston had starred in films such as Twins (1988), Jerry Maguire (1996) and

For the Love of the Game (1999).

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