Producers and distributors issue ultimatum to exhibitors

The row over the release of Mohanlal-starrer Mr. Fraud worsened on Wednesday when associations of producers and distributors announced that no new films would be released in Malayalam as the exhibitors refuse to screen the movie directed by B. Unnikrishnan from May 8 onwards.

A combined meeting of the producers and distributors’ associations held here issued an ultimatum to the exhibitors that they should sign an agreement with the distributor of Mr. Fraud ensuring that it will be released on May 8.

No releases

No Malayalam films will be released from this date, if the exhibitors’ federation stuck to its stance that Mr. Fraud will not be screened.

However, Liberty Basheer, president of the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation, the apex body of ‘A’ class theatres in the State, made it clear that there was no change in the earlier decision that cinemas would not screen Mr. Fraud .

Mr. Basheer had held Mr. Unnikrishnan responsible for the decision by members of Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) and the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) to stay away from the inauguration of the headquarters building of the exhibitors’ federation here.

Efforts by the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce to resolve the differences also failed, with warring factions refusing to budge from their positions.

Support to FEFKA

Interestingly, the Cine Exhibitors Association, the combine of ‘B’ and ‘C’ class theatres, extended its support to the Film Employees Federation of Kerala stating that the decision by the exhibitors’ federation not to screen Mr. Fraud was unacceptable.

Cinemas affiliated to the association would release the movie as per the original schedule.

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