Should Bollywood films already shot with Pak actors be curbed?

Posted on Oct 16 2016 - 1:30am
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Should Bollywood films already shot with Pak actors be curbed? family, wedding pictures, age, height, weight, biography, husband, wife, affairs

Box office may soon see a ‘hit’, albeit differently. In a turn of events, the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI), which covers several single-screen theatres in the country, declared after its meeting on Friday that films featuring Pakistani artistes and technicians will not release in single screens, starting with Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ (‘ADHM’), followed by ‘Dear Zindagi’ and ‘Raees’, among others.

Parts of Karnataka and the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa will witness the immediate implications of this decision on Diwali. Karan’s festive release, featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma and Fawad Khan, has just been passed by the CBFC with only three cuts and a U/A certificate. But looks like patrons might not find it in most of the single screens.

The multiplexes haven’t made up their mind yet, and none was forthcoming to speak on the issue, officially. However, a source from a Mumbai multiplex chain, on the condition of anonymity, told BT, “It’s a Karan Johar film, so it has an urban appeal and is predominantly meant for the multiplex audience. The single screens have ‘Shivaay’. All multiplexes hold meetings on Tuesdays, to discuss the forthcoming Friday’s release, so a decision will be taken only three days prior to release. I don’t see why multiplexes will not screen this film. No one would like to lose out on business, especially during Diwali. Political parties creating a ruckus is not new, we will need the police to cooperate.”



An industry insider added, “Given the sentiments of our countrymen, we can decide on what can be done in the future, but we cannot expect filmmakers to replace talent with less than 20 days left for release. The film was not made after the Uri attacks. And, if the Censor Board has cleared it, how can it not release on October 28? The government of India has not objected to it and there’s no question of a ban. Why won’t someone check the credibility of the body (COEAI), which has decided to not screen the film in single screens? Everyone is trying to gain publicity over this controversy.”

Nitin Datar, President, COEAI:
“It was a unanimous decision made by the association after looking at the public sentiments and the current tension between India and Pakistan. We had to call for a meeting urgently and take a decision. All single screens that are part of the association have agreed, but I can’t say how many will execute it. After the IMPPA ban, a lot of filmmakers had said that artistes and filmmakers should not be punished as the filmmakers will bear the loss. But as far as I understand, no filmmaker bears a loss, because he/she sells numerous kinds of rights which fetch them a decent sum. Box-office collection is not the only way to recover costs. On the other hand, if we release Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and our theatres are attacked, no one will help us recover our losses — ticket sales are all that we make our money from. The multiplex owners haven’t made up their mind yet, but we have.”

MNS leader Amey Khopkar:
“My stand is final. I will not allow the film to release under any circumstances. I understand the argument of making Indian filmmakers and artistes suffer, but this is not the first time I have raised a red flag on this issue. I have been fighting for the cause for 11 years now. I have written letters to several producers on numerous occasions. Is there a dearth of talent in India? Casting Pakistani artistes is a mere ploy to garner more publicity, as these filmmakers know that we will protest against the decision. If they have waited for so long to release the film, they can push the date further and replace Fawad with an Indian actor. I don’t see it as a major issue, as he hardly has a 10-minute role in the film.”

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It’s to be seen eventually how many single screens leave out Karan’s film over the big Diwali weekend. The decision made by the COEAI has, in the meantime, divided the industry’s opinion. We sought a few:

Mahesh Bhatt, Filmmaker:
“The mother of all questions is: Is India going to be run by the rule of law, or by the mood swings and whims of a handful of people? The producers’ body and theatre owners’ association need to show compassion and behave justly with Karan Johar. This is wilful blindness. How can we not see that these movies were shot when the relationship of the Prime Minister of India and his Pakistani counterpart were at its very best?”

Rajesh Thadani, Distributor:
“I think only the business in these four states will get affected. The number of screens supporting the decision hasn’t come out yet. There is always a possibility of a settlement where no one suffers.”



Sunil Bansal, Distributor-Exhibitor:
“The association should have a liberal attitude and not penalise films that are ready for release. After all, our fellow Indian’s money is at stake. Movies that are ready for release and those that have been shot should not be harmed. If they want to ban actors, they should take this stand for films that are yet to begin.”

Balkrishna Shroff, Director, Shringar Films Pvt Ltd

“The Government of India has not banned any Pakistani artiste from working in India. The CBFC, which is also a government body, has not taken any such stand either. This uproar is more about public sentiments. I received 47 calls yesterday from single-screen owners, saying they want to release the film. I feel just because the issue revolves around Bollywood, it has garnered a lot of attention.”

Harsh Jain, distributor-exhibitor:
“This theatre owners’ association primarily covers single screens in Mumbai, Nasik and Pune. They don’t have any legal right to ban any film. At most, they can ask their members to not release a film as a precautionary measure. No sensible exhibitor will ban any film, it will only hit his revenue. I’m completely against this ban. I believe art and politics should not be mixed. Even if you want to ban any actor, the release of films already-completed should not be jeopardised. Lastly, the Government says that they don’t have any problem with any Pakistani artiste coming and working in India. Political parties have their own agendas, nothing more.”

Vandan Shah, owner of Rupam Cinema, Ahmedabad:

“We have only heard that COEAI is planning to ban the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in single-screen theatres, but we haven’t received any word, officially. We are holding a meeting on Monday and the matter will become clearer after that. As of now, we are not making any announcement.”

Mahesh Bhatt:
“The producers’ body and the theatre owners’ association need to show compassion and behave justly with Karan Johar. This is wilful blindness.”

Mukesh Bhatt, Filmmaker & The President of The Film and Television Producers Guild of India:
“All kinds of people exist in this industry, and everyone has a different opinion. The industry is paying the price for no fault of theirs. Not releasing a film made by an Indian filmmaker is only harming an Indian. I raise a fundamental question: Does Karan Johar not have the right to earn his livelihood? And since when did associations start banning films that government bodies like the CBFC have not objected to?”

Ashoke Pandit, Vice-President, IMPPA:
“We didn’t want to stall the release of Karan’s film or impact its release in any manner. But our ban was to stop filmmakers from involving Pakistani talent in future. We made ample effort to talk to MNS and convince them to not stop the film, but not once did Karan talk to us or support us in any manner. He is paying the price for his silence. He didn’t condemn the Pakistani artistes when they didn’t comment on the Uri attacks, he should have. It will make a huge dent in his business if the single screens stick to their decision. It’s a cluster that he cannot ignore.”

Vipul Shah, Filmmaker:
“These films started when Indo-Pak peace process was underway. I agree that we should be careful if we are starting a film with a Pakistani artiste, but how is it reasonable to stall a film produced by an Indian, who has invested crores of rupees on something that began when the peace process was on? If anyone starts a film today with a Pakistani artiste, the position can be different. The association should not punish Indian filmmakers like this.”

Sa Ra Govindu, president, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce:
“We agree with the ban, and will give full support to ensure that it is implemented in Karnataka. We Indians must stand united on this.”

Jayesh Bondre, owner, Nandi film theatre, Goa:
“Karan Johar is a big name in the movie industry, and his film not being screened is going to be a big loss for us. However, I think the issue will be resolved by next week. We acquire our movies through satellite distribution based in Mumbai. If they don’t screen movies, it won’t be possible for us to do so either.”

State Exhibitors Speak
Bajirao Latthe, manager of Padma Cinemas, Kolhapur:
“Unless we get further orders, we won’t be screening ADHM. I agree with the ban, and don’t anticipate any revenue loss. We are planning to screen more shows of Shivaay and I think that will help in preventing monetary loss, if any.”

Suryakant Patil, president, Kolhapur District Cinema Owners Association (KDCOA):
“Single screens run in losses anyway; it’s not because of this decision alone. But we support the national sentiment and won’t be screening the Fawad Khan film. In fact, as a sign of support to the Maratha Kranti Morcha, we had kept single screens shut on Saturday as well.”

Gaurav Shah, Neelayam Talkies, Pune:
As an Indian, I understand the sentiment, but as a businessman, the stakes are different. A handful of big films release in a year and give us (single-screen exhibitors) an opportunity to earn well. So yes, our business will be affected, but we can’t go against the parent body either.

It is up to the government to take a decision on whether they want to issue work permits to Pakistani actors in the future. And if you must put a ban on these actors working in India, then shouldn’t it apply to films that are planned post the rule comes into effect? How does it help targeting films that have already been shot with Pakistani actors? MNS leader Amey Khopkar has said that he does not see replacing an actor who has a fleeting role in the film, a ‘major issue’ . That’s exactly the point… by stalling the release of a film because of a brief presence of a Pakistani actor, aren’t we impacting the work and careers of a multitude of Indians, who have laboured over this film for months, maybe even years? How fair is that?

— With inputs from Rachana Dubey Sharma, Hiren Kotwani, Renuka Vyavahare, Neha Maheswri Bhagat, Sunayana Suresh, Mihir Bhanage, Dean Lobo, Anagha pathak, Vinita Chaturvedi, Rishabh Deb, Kimberly Colaco & Abhimanyu Mishra

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Should Bollywood films already shot with Pak actors be curbed? was last modified: October 16th, 2016 by greendecker

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