Karnataka theaters to defy moratorium

BANGALORE: In a move to challenge the seven-week moratorium on non-Kannada films in Karnataka enforced by the state government sponsored Pandey committee, theatre owners in Karnataka are likely to release two new non-Kannada films on Friday, 2 October.


Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jao (Hindi), Aliens vs Predators (English) and the Om-Puri starrer King of Bollywood (which opened last week elsewhere in the country) will be screened in theaters in Bangalore and North Karnataka tomorrow.

Theater owners have also submitted a memorandum to the Karnataka Governor T N Chaturvadi stating that the moratorium does not have constitutional validity and that it was being forced on the theater owners.

In another development, a division bench of the High Court comprising of chief justice N K Jain and justice V G Sabahit has issued notices to the state and union governments and the KFCC on a petition challenging the "illegal" seven week moratorium on the release of other language film sin the state. The petition was filed by Bangalore city advocate S Vasudevamurthy, also ruling that pendency of the petition will not come in the way of a compromise formula if worked out to sort the issue.

The Karnataka Film Producers Association (KFPA), which has been instrumental in the enforcement of moratorium, has threatened to stage a dharna outside the theaters, which violate the moratorium, and has urged Kannadigas to boycott non-Kannada films.

Meanwhile the newly elected members Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce (KFCC) top brass met the chief minister on Monday and the deputy CM yesterday. The deputy CM has asked the film industry heads to solve the current crisis over release of non-Kannada films themselves, saying that the present problem was mainly between the distributors, exhibitors and producers, requesting that the government not be dragged into this matter.

Gangaraju, the newly elected president of the KFCC, has in the meantime urged the ex-presidents of KFCC to use their influence in the industry to make the Indian film industry reconsider the embargos that have been threatened by it on the Kannada film industry.

Mediator actor-politician Ambarish's meeting with all the three aggrieved parties - producers, theater owners and distributors - held yesterday to work out a solution was called off since the star was busy with some other appointments.

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