The highly-anticipated Sandalwood film Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) is set to be released in over 400 theatres in Karnataka and in over 1,500 theatres across the country, a first for a Kannada film. The film starring Yash will be released after extensive production that lasted almost two years and will be released in five languages - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam - simultaneously giving it a pan-Indian opening.
"This is new for the Kannada cinema industry. The film is releasing in over 400 theatres in the state and over 1500 theatres in the country," says N Kumar, President of the Karnataka Film Distributors Association. It was earlier slated to release in over 1,800 theatres in the country with more than 1,000 theatres featuring the Hindi version of the film.
But he refused to be drawn into debates over whether this means that the Kannada film will challenge other releases like Aanand L Rai’s Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Zero and Vijay Sethupathi’s Seethakathi in Tamil. "There is no competition between the films. People will watch many films in the Christmas holidays. Good films should be made for the public and any industry can make them. We are focusing on the release of KGF and this is the first time a Kannada film is releasing on this scale. We are trying to strengthen the market for the films released in Kannada through KGF," says Kumar.
He also added that the tickets for the film was not priced higher. "Unlike Villain, the ticket prices are between Rs.150 and 200 in multiplexes for this film," he said.
The big-budget film is being distributed by high profile distributors in the film industry. In Tamil, Vishal Film Factory have bagged the rights while the Malayalam version will be distributed by Global United Media. The Hindi version is being distributed by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani's Excel Entertainment along with Anil Thadani's AA Films.
The film has one of the highest budgets for a Kannada film ever and has been directed by Prashanth Neel. It is a two-part period drama that traces the fortunes of a gangster over decades and is set in the backdrop of the infamous gold fields of Kolar. Yash plays the role of a gangster who leaves Mumbai for the gold fields.
The film stars debutant Srinidhi Shetty opposite Yash, and also Malavika Avinash, John Kokken and Achyuth Rao among others. Veteran actor Anant Nag will narrate the sequence of events in the film and popular actor Tamanna Bhatia will be featured in a song in the film.
In an interview with TNM, Yash admitted that the film was initially set to be released in Kannada and that English subtitles would be added for release outside Karnataka. Bolstered by the success of the first few shooting schedules and the emergence of the Baahubali movie franchise, the makers of the film decided to scale up the production and extend it to four other languages.