The Hindu month of Ashada is considered inauspicious by filmmakers. So cast is not signed on, no film is launched and no purchases are made relating to films. Thankfully, releases are not halted. By the time it’s Shravana, the industry is in a festive mood as production goes on an upswing.
August is set to see around 10 to 12 big ticket films go on floors. It was Male, starring Prem and being produced by Chandru, that started off the in-season with a launch party on August 9. Puneeth Rajkumar’s Ninnindale had its muhurath on August 12, and following it will be Darshan’s Ambareesha, Sudeep’s new film, tentatively titled Malla Nalla, along with Ravichandran, and Upendra’s Superro Ranga.
Sudhindra Venkatesh, who has been in the industry for almost three decades, says, “It is a Hindu belief that Ashada is inauspicious. Just as there are no weddings or festivals held during this time, filmmakers, eager to ensure the success of their projects, refrain from taking important decisions too. This has been the practice for decades.”
The superstition extends to even smaller-budget films. Among those that will start with their shooting schedules this month are Sunil Kumar Desai’s Thandana Thandana starring Ramesh Aravind and Ananth Nag, Mamu Tea Stall starring Rangayana Raghu and a Prajwal Devaraj and Nikki-starrer film to be directed by K C Venugopal.
Everyday is a good day in Shravana, says Venkatesh. “Production houses don’t even look up the almanac for an auspicious time to start work since all of the month is considered opportune,” he adds.
Director Indrajit Lankesh says, “It’s a custom, not starting work on films in Ashada. Even if Kannada films are not released, other language films do.
“In my opinion, Sandal-wood has not planned its releases prudently. Kannada filmmakers do not cash in on Eid or Diwali. These festivals see a surge in filmgoers. But producers here are missing out on capitalising on them, while other language films make the most of the opportunity. Take for example Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express and Vijay’s Thalaivaa. Similarly, last year, Salman Khan's film released around Eid. Likewise, Kannada stars and filmmakers should make it a point to release one big film during Eid and Diwali.”