Producers of the film ‘Kammath and Kammath’ get three weeks’ relief

The Kerala High Court on Saturday directed that the Fort Kochi munsiff court order restraining the producers of a Malayalam film from shooting in an area in Fort Kochi shall not be enforced for three weeks.

Justice V. Chithambaresh issued the interim order on a petition filed by the producers of “Kammath and Kammath”, starring Mammootty and Dileep.

Aurie Kiem, who runs an ayurvedic massage centre, had secured an order restraining the producers from shooting the film on a vacant land close to her house on Santa Cruz Road, obstructing the view and signboard of the massage centre and entry to her property.

The lower court had also ordered removal of the film sets erected by the film team.

According to the producers, the munsiff court order was illegal. They had started the shoot in and around Fort Kochi after getting permissions from Kochi Corporation and Cochin Heritage Zone Conservation Society. They had almost spent Rs.30 lakh in setting up the film sets.

In the last one year, over 65 films have been shot in Fort Kochi, which prompted the corporation to charge a fee on film shoots.

The land in front of Ms. Kiem’s house belongs to the Revenue Department while the Santa Cruz Road is maintained by the corporation. It is on this land, on either side of the road, that a huge film set is being created. The place has been rented out to the film unit for 40 days. Ms. Kiem alleges that the entrance to her residence-cum-business centre will be blocked and with the tourist season on, her business will be hurt. Antony Kureethara, councillor of Division 1, who came up with the idea of granting shooting permission for a fee, says, “This is the first time in the history of the corporation that we have received Rs. 1 lakh from a film unit. We are not obstructing anybody and we do not entertain such things. We have given the unit clear instructions not to dump waste or obstruct traffic.” But Ms Kiem says, “The corporation’s prime duty is to focus on the safety and peace of its people and not get into business,” adding that she and her daughter have been “attacked”. The 150-odd workers have turned the outside of her house filthy, she says.

Village Officer V.A. Judy, says the Revenue Department has received Rs. 1.75 lakh from the film unit and that there is no problem at all. It is a temporary arrangement till November 20. Countering the claim that Kiem’s businesses is getting affected, he says “lots of people earn their livelihood from the film industry and the government has to think of them too.” With the matter pending in court, Antony Kureethara says he will convene a meeting of residents, film production houses and corporators to come up with the a solution.

More In: Kochi