A section of theatre owners affiliated to the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF) on Thursday screened Tamil film ‘Bhairavaa,’ creating a split in the powerful organisation, an act that is expected to invite disciplinary action from the leadership.
“The movie was screened on more than 60 screens owned by 40-odd members of the KFEF. The total number of screenings, excluding multiplexes and theatres under the KCEA and KSFDC, indicate that the film was released in theatres owned by KFEF members also.
Theatres owned by the Ashirwad Group, Carnival Group and D Cinemas joined hands with us,” said Kerala Film Distributors Association president Ziyad Koker, adding that they would start releasing Malayalam films from January 19.
“A decision on the films and number of theatres will be taken at the meeting of the core committee of distributors and exhibitors to be held on Saturday,” he said. According to Koker, preference will be given to theatres that stood with them at times of crisis, and the merit of the theatres will also be considered while releasing Malayalam films.
“Today, we also released films in stations where the demand for Tamil films is very high, such as Pulluvila and Kovalam,” he said. Meanwhile, KFEF president Liberty Basheer claimed that only 18 out of the 353 theatres under the Federation screened Bhairavaa.
“We will initiate action against members who screened the film,” he said. According to Basheer, the ongoing crisis in the Malayalam film industry is the result interference by corporate entities and a few leading actors who own theatres.
He appealed the State Government to intervene and settle the issue at the earliest. Speaking to reporters at Thalassery, Basheer said there was an effort from certain quarters to destroy the KFEF, which has closed down theatres under it demanding a hike in the share of revenue.
“There is a concerted effort to destroy the Federation, and to launch a parallel organisation. The campaign is being led by actor Dileep, who is also a producer and exhibitor. Such interventions by an actor like Dileep, who owns several theatres should be condemned,” he said.
It is surprising that Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Lenin Rajendran, Siddique, Innocent and others, who had unleashed criticism ‘other-language’ films were exhibited, have remained silent when a Tamil film is being screened in theatres, including those operated by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation. Most of the stars own theatres. Corporate entities are trying to take over the film industry,” he alleged.