Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bollywood to move Supreme Court

Diwali releases: Bollywood may move top court
The Asian Age

The Kannada film industry is heading for more trouble as a number of producers of Hindi and Telugu films seem all set to approach the Supreme Court for the simultaneous Diwali release of their movies in Karnataka. Among the producers who are planning to take recourse to legal action are Yash Chopra (Veer Zaara), Ram Gopal Verma (Naach) and Subhash Ghai (Aitraaz), according to Mr Manmohan Shetty, member of the Joint Action Committee of the Indian Film Industry, which is spearheading the protest against the moratorium on the release of non-Kannada films in the state. All three Hindi films are slated for a November 12 release.

Producers of Chanti and other big budget Telugu films are also likely to approach the Supreme Court to get a stay order on the three week unofficial moratorium on release of non-Kannada films now in force in Karnataka, D. Suresh Babu, member of the Joint Action Committee of the Indian Film Industry and vice-president of the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce told The Asian Age Gemini Film Circuit, the producers of the Telugu film Shankar Dada M.B.B.S had set the trend by obtaining a stay order from the Supreme Court on the seven week moratorium then in force in Karnataka, and releasing the film in the state four days after it hit the screens in Andhra Pradesh. Veer Zaara starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta and directed by Yash Chopra, Mukta Arts presenttion Aitraaz directed by Abbas Mastan and starring Akshay Kumar and and Priyanka Chopra, and the Abhishekh Bachchan starrer Naach , directed by Ram Gopal Verma, are among the most eagerly awaited films this Diwali season.

The classic Mughal-e-Azam starring Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj Kapoor, which is being re-released after a technical makeover on November 12, will not attract the moratorium because the film was first released in the Sixties.

Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee of the Indian Film Industry and the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce have in idential letters to Karnataka deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah have said that no delay or moratorium can be entertained by the non-Kannada film industries. No distributor from Karnataka has agreed to a moratorium of three weeks for the release of non-Kannada films, the letters added.

“We will be compelled to find other distributors or to alternatively distribute directly to exhibitors, since the decision on a three week moratorium has been taken without the involvement of the film fraternity of other regions. We therefore expect your full cooperation in the matter of releasing our films simultaneously in Karnataka,” the letters said.

The members of the joint action committee and the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce have also requested the deputy chief minister to provide them an opportunity to make their submissions in person to him.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce for its part has decided to invite the members of the Joint Action Committee of the Indian Film Industry and also the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce to discuss with them the present crisis in the film industry in the state.

Talking to The Asian Age, Mr. H.D. Gangaraj, president of the KFCC said the executive committee which met on Monday discussed the issue in the background of the perceived warning of the South Indian film industry to create as much impediments for the Kannada film industry as possible. The measures include the banning of Kannada film artistes and technicians from working in films of other languages and also not allowing film artistes and technicians of other language films to work for Kannada films.

There is also a proposal to ban the dubbed versions of Kannada films in other states. “We decided to intimate the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce that such measures should not be implemented unless all the issues are thrashed out through a discussion. We also spoke to the secretary of SIFCC who said that the measures were not being implemented as of now and assured that they would be happy to come to Bangalore for further discussions. We are now in the process of organising such a meeting and a date has to be finalised,” Mr Gangaraj said.

Meanwhile, the producers who had resigned from the KFCC in the wake of the release of non-Kannada films like Dhoom and Bride & Prejudice have taken back their resignations, according to him.

Related story in DH


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