Poonam Singh

Four massive stars from the south Indian film industry will vie for audience eyeballs during one of the most crowded Indian festival release frames.

This upcoming week is celebrated as the Pongal, Sankranti and other harvest festivals in many parts of India, reports Variety.

Vijay stars in Vamshi Paidipally's Tamil-language action family drama 'Varisu', due a January 11 release.

Its Telugu-language dubbed version 'Varasudu' will release January 14 in India.

The heavyweight cast also includes Rashmika Mandanna, R. Sarathkumar, Prabhu and Prakash Raj.

Also due a January 11 release is H. Vinoth's Tamil-language action heist film 'Thunivu', starring Ajith Kumar, which will also release in its Telugu-dubbed version 'Thegimpu' on the same day. Manju Warrier and Samuthirakani are also in the cast.

Megastar Chiranjeevi headlines K.S. Ravindra's Telugu-language action comedy 'Waltair Veerayya' that also boasts a heavyweight cast including Ravi Teja, Shruti Haasan, Rajendra Prasad and Catherine Tresa. The film and its Hindi-language dub is due for a January 13 release with previews on January 12.

Cult star Nandamuri Balakrishna leads Gopichand Malineni's Telugu-language action drama 'Veera Simha Reddy', alongside Shruti Haasan and Duniya Vijay, which is due a January 12 release.

All the films are produced by seasoned industry players. 'Varisu' is from Dil Raju's Sri Venkateswara Creations ('Sarileru Neekevvaru') and Prasad V. Potluri's PVP Cinema ('Evaru'); 'Thunivu' is from Zee Studios and Boney Kapoor's Bayview Projects ('Valimai'); and both the Telugu titles are from Naveen Yerneni, Y. Ravi Shankar and Mohan Cherukuri's hit machine Mythri Movie Makers ('Pushpa: The Rise').

So many big-ticket titles releasing in the same time frame has led to distributors adopting different promotional strategies. In the U.K. for example, 'Varisu' distributor Ahimsa Entertainment is running a digital advertising campaign at 75 locations across London. Lyca Productions, which is distributing 'Thunivu' in the U.K. and Europe via Boleyn Cinemas, has a promotional van for the film doing the rounds of London landmarks including Big Ben and Tower Bridge.

Meanwhile, amidst all the southern Indian star power, there is a lone Bollywood release during the festival frame - Aasmaan Bhardwaj's comedy crime drama 'Kuttey', starring Naseeruddin Shah, Arjun Kapoor, Tabu, Konkona Sen Sharma and Radhika Madan, due for January 13.

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