Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: Parzania, low-budget English film based on the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, will not be released in the State.

Theatre owners, after a meeting with director-producer Rahul Dholakia, here on Tuesday, conveyed the final "no" to screening the film for fear of disturbances, apparently by the Sangh Parivar.

Though no organisation has come out in the open opposing the release of the film, the booking agent in Mumbai said there were "telephone calls" threatening disruption.

Gujarat Exhibitors Association president Manubhai Shah, owner of one of the multiplexes here, said the exhibitors asked Mr. Dholakia to discuss the issue with those "opposing the release of the film" and screen it for them. But this suggestion was not acceptable to him.

"Whether they see the film or not, they are going to say `no' to its release," Mr. Dholakia said about the Parivar.

The director said he had discussed the threat perception with Ahmedabad Police Commissioner, who was prepared to provide all protection. "And yet the theatre owners are not prepared to release it." He would consider other options, including organising "private viewing" by large groups and releasing the film on the Internet.

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