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Dr Malini Yugendran
Auckland, January 12, 2023
Sankranti is an important festival in India, and it is celebrated under various names. It is common to release big-budget films during this festival since many people are on vacation and have more time to go to the movies. During this festivity, fans get to watch a selection of Bollywood, Tollywood, and Kollywood films. This year’s films include big-budget movies, pan-India productions, and indie films. This article lists Sankranti/Pongal releases in Aotearoa in the languages: Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu in 2023.
Tamil movies
It is unusual for films starring Ajith Kumar and Vijay to be released at the same time during the festival season. Both Ajith and Vijay are well-known actors in the Tamil film industry, and their films are highly anticipated by fans. As a result, filmmakers and studios usually strategically plan their films’ release dates to avoid direct competition and maximise box office income. Thus, it was a shock to many movie-goers that both Ajith and Vijay movies were released one day apart. Vijay’s Varisu and Ajith’s Thunivu were released across Aotearoa on 11 January 2023 and 12 January 2023 respectively
Vijay’s Varisu
Varisu (Heir) is an action dramedy film directed by Vamshi Paidipally. The film stars Vijay and Rashmika Mandanna. The estimated budget for this movie is about NZ$54 million. The film’s Telugu version of the film is titled Vaarasudu. At the time of this publication, the song Ranjithame from this movie had gone viral with 133 million views on YouTube.
Ajith Kumar’s Thunivu
Thunivu (Fortitude) is an action heist film written and directed by H Vinoth. It stars Ajith Kumar, and Manju Warrier, in lead roles. This film’s budget is believed to be around NZ$39 million. The movie’s Chilla Chilla song has had 32 million hits on YouTube.
Telugu Movies
The films of Nandamuri Balakrishna and Chiranjeevi have been released in theatres for this Sankranti. Both films were released on 12 January 2023 across cinemas in New Zealand.
Veera Simha Reddy
The action film Veera Simha Reddy, directed by Gopichand Malineni has Nandamuri Balakrishna in the titular role. It also stars Shruti Haasan (legendary actor Kamal Hasan’s daughter) and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar (actor Sarathkumar’s daughter). The film has been curated with a budget of almost NZ$29 million. The movie’s Suguna Sundari song has 14 million views to date.
Waltair Veerayya
Waltair Veerayya is an action-comedy film directed by K S Ravindra. Chiranjeevi portrays the title character in the film, which also stars Ravi Teja, Shruti Haasan, and Catherine Tresa. The film’s budget is estimated to be approximately NZ$27 million. The lyrics video for Boss Party has garnered 44 million views.
Hindi Films
Kuttey
Kuttey (Dogs), is Aasmaan Bhardwaj’s (Vishal Bhardwaj’s son) directorial debut. The ensemble cast includes Tabu, Arjun Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Radhika Madan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Kumud Mishra, and Shardul Bhardwaj. The film will be released in New Zealand on January 13, 2023. The film’s budget is NZ$29 million.
Mission Majnu
Mission Majnu, directed by Shantanu Bagchi, will be released digitally rather than theatrically. Netflix will provide direct digital streaming from January 20, 2023.The leads are Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna.
Five major movies released in New Zealand
Thunivu is distributed in New Zealand by Vansan Movies and is screened in Hoyts Cinemas, The remaining four of the five major theatrical releases are distributed in New Zealand by Forum Film NZ Ltd: Varisu, Veera Simha Reddy, Waltair Veerayya, and Kuttey. These films are screened at Hoyts and Events Cinemas.
Forum Films is a film distribution company based in New Zealand. It was founded in 2006, and Indian Newslink played a part in its marketing strategy. We are delighted to see the company grow from strength to strength.
Dr Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newslink  Reporter based in Auckland.
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