Bengaluru: Former chief minister and JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy is seething with anger. The reason: Kumaraswamy, who made a comeback as a producer after a gap of 13 years, is appalled at the general state of affairs, especially with the monopoly of a few film distributors over the theatres, in Sandalwood.
Disappointed and disgusted with the state of affairs in Sandalwood, Kumaraswamy has decided to play an active role to end monopoly on cinema theatres. “It is unfortunate that exhibitors and distributors decide the fate of Kannada films. Earlier, distributors and exhibitors used to pay money to the film producer much before the release of the film. Now, the producer has to pay money (one-week rental of the theatre) to the exhibitor (cinema theatre owner) before releasing his film. If this system continues, it would become tough for the producers of small and medium-budget films,” Kumaraswamy said.
Coming down heavily on Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) and Kannada Film Producers’ Association (KFPA) for not doing anything for the welfare of film producers, Kumaraswamy said the focus of these two institutions was only to collect money from the film producers. “Why should a film producer pay Rs 50,000 each to the KFCC and KFPA? I want these institutions to mend their ways as early as possible,” Kumaraswamy said.
Recalling how some of the exhibitors have been trying to remove his son Nikhil Kumar’s film ‘Jaguar’ from the theaters to facilitate the screening of other films, he said that he would not have any complaints if the exhibitors remove ‘Jaguar’ film if the box-office collection is less then Rs 1.50 lakh (equal to the theater rentals). “I am against the monopoly on the cinema theaters. There are rumours on withdrawing ‘Jaguar’ film from around 30 theaters to facilitate the screening of other Kannada films – Mukunda Murari and Santhu Straight Forward. I am not against the release of Kannada films but I am ready to come to the streets if Jaguar film is removed from such theaters where the box-office collections are good,” he said.
He also expressed concern over the release of other language films at hundreds of theaters. “There was a norm for other language films to be released in Karnataka. The other languages are supposed to release two weeks after releasing in their respective states. “Now, Telugu films are being released simultaneously at more than 100 theatres. I want to know why the KFCC and KFPA are quiet on this issue which is detrimental to the growth of Kannada film industry?,” he asked.
Jaguar to release in US
Kumaraswamy said that arrangements have been made for the release of ‘Jaguar’ in the US on Friday. “Nikhil Kumar is leaving for the US. Many Kannada organizations have insisted Nikhil Kumar to visit the US. The film will be released at 45 theaters in the US,” he said.
He also said that preparations were being made to release ‘Jaguar’ film in UK. “Neeraj Patil, former Mayor of London, has discussed with me on the screening of ‘Jaguar’ film at theaters in London and other cities in the UK. Patil wants Nikhil Kumar to participate in an interaction with the students of University of London,” he said.