The friction between the associations became a full-blown battle in July

How a conflict over Baahubali has stalled release of Prithviraj Dileep movies
news Friday, September 18, 2015 - 13:11

This was supposed to be a big week for Malayalam cinema with Prithviraj’s ‘Ennu Ninde Moideen’, Jeethu Joseph’s Dileep starrer ‘Life of Josutty’ and Asif Ali’s ‘Kohinoor’ slated for release. But on Friday, none of the movies were released in theatres across the state following a conflict between the Kerala Distributor’s Association and Film Exhibitor’s Association.

The friction between the associations became a full-blown battle in July when the Film Exhibitor’s Federation headed by Liberty Basheer decided to not allow the release of Telugu movie Baahubali till the case on piracy of 'Premam' movie was solved. This resulted in Baahubali getting released only in 100 odd theatres, though distributors had planned to release the movie in around 200 theatres.

Terming the Film Exhibitor’s Federation’s move to stall the movie’s wide release hegemonic, Raju Mathew, owner of Century Films - that was distributing ‘Baahubali’ in Kerala protested against this. Liberty Basheer meanwhile had been demanding that some movies should first be exclusively screened in theatres owned by members of the Federation.

The war of words resulted in the Film Exhibitor’s Federation imposing a ban on Century Films. As a mark of protest against the ban, Distributor’s Association decided to boycott members of the Film Exhibitor’s Federation, and stall release of new movies in their theatres. This list included Life of Josutty, Ennu Ninde Moideen and Kohinoor.

“Since they were not ready to provide movies to theatres owned by Federation members, we told all theatres to not release the new movies, “Liberty Basheer told The News Minute.

A conciliatory meeting of the two associations will decide the fate of the three movies.