Sandalwood vs. Tollywood? Kannada filmmakers allege film screening stopped without reason
Events late on Wednesday night appear to have sparked a war between Sandalwood and Tollywood, with two filmmakers alleging that Kannada films were being shot down in Karnataka at the behest of Telugu filmmakers.
According to the makers of Maduveya Mamateya Kareyole, the 10 pm screening of the film was stopped by goons at PVR Cinemas in Orion Mall in Bengaluru’s Rajajinagar area. Despite several attempts, PVR Cinemas could not be reached for a response.
Speaking to Kannada news channel TV 9 Kannada, director Kaviraj said that the 10 pm show was first delayed, and then cancelled altogether. He alleged that there was a “distributors’ mafia” which was working to stop the screening of Kannada films in malls as the prices of tickets of Telugu films was higher than that of Kannada films.
Maduveya Mamateya Kareyole was released on January 8. It has been produced by Toogudeepa Productions which was launched by actor Darshan and his younger brother Dinaker.
Dinanker told TV 9 Kannada, “I went there at around 11 pm and the mall (PVR Cinemas) took around two hours to give me a response. First they said there were technical difficulties and that their staff were rectifying it. Later some goons turned up and they told us to stop go away.”
He claimed that the show was 80 percent full and that the film had received a good response in theatres. “If this is the case, how will Kannada cinema grow? The sad part is that when the police came, Karnataka police supported the mall.”
TV 9 visuals show a group of people arguing with a man who is sometimes seen trying to call someone.
“They are attacking Kannada films, Kannada culture, and they are committing such atrocities,” Dinaker said of multiplexes.
Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce president Sa.Ra. Govindu told The News Minute that the 10 pm show had been resumed on Friday. He said PVR Cinemas had met with him on Thursday and had maintained that they had to stop the screening of the film due to technical difficulties.
“They (PVR) has written an apology letter and said told me that they stopped the screening due to a technical glitch,” Govindu said.
Part of the confusion was because the multiplex had offered to show another Kannada film when they encountered difficulties. “If they had called up the producers or distributors and informed them, the producers thought that their film had been stopped to play another film,” Govindu said.
He also said that PVR Cinemas had been directed to pay the producers the amount due to them for the number of tickets sold for the show on Wednesday night. “When 250 people go to watch a film and the show is cancelled, it’s a loss for the producer. It was their (multiplex) mistake, so I’ve asked them to pay the producers. There is a need to safeguard the interest of producers.”
Speaking to TV9 Kannada, both Dinaker and Kaviraj had alleged that multiplexes in the city were rigging their booking system to show lesser bookings and therefore cancel shows, Govindu avoided a direct answer.
“There is no doubt that Kannada films have difficulties in getting multiplexes to screen films. Sometimes they give 9 am or 9 pm shows… There are problems,” Govindu said.