Raavan runs into KFCC restrictions

MUMBAI: Karnataka is proving a tough nut to crack for filmmakers and distribution companies thanks to the state‘s policy of allowing restricted releases of non-Kannada films. After Kites, it is now the turn of the Mani Ratnam directed Hindi-Tamil films Raavan and Raavanan to run into rough weather with the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC).

The film stars Aishwarya Rai and Abhishekh Bachchan in the Hindi version and Vikram in the Tamil one. The KFCC has permitted Reliance Big Pictures to release the film in both its versions in only 24 screens in the old Mysore distribution area of Karantaka.

Reliance Big Pictures had contended that since the project was in two languages and with a different star cast it should not be considered as a single film but rather as two movies. And hence it should be permitted to release the films in 24 screens each. 

"Raavan is a hugely mounted film and we would like the KFCC to liberalise its policy of restricting the release in a fixed number of theatres in Karnataka," a letter from Big Pictures to KFCC had said. But the KFCC had turned down its contention and ordered it to keep it down to 12 for each language.

The distributors will be releasing the film in another 21 screens all over Karnataka, bringing it up to a total 45 screens for the state.

KFCC member and filmmaker Madhusudhan Reddy says that the chamber‘s decision was justified. "So what if the characters differ, the producer and director are the same," he said. "A similar thing happened with me earlier when I was in a similar situation wanting to release the Kannada, Telugu and Tamil versions of my film Kuchelan where the leading men of all the three versions were different." At least both the versions of Raavan are getting an opening here. Besides the Kannada version of my film, none of the other versions were allowed to release."

Both the versions will have a simultaneous release on 18 June.

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