Manas Dasgupta

We will not take the risk: theatre owners

  • Will consider other options: producer
  • Police ready to give necessary protection

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

    Cinema theatre owners, after a meeting with the film's director-producer, Rahul Dholakia, here on Tuesday, gave the final "no" to screening the film apprehending disturbances apparently from the Sangh Parivar.

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

    The Gujarat Exhibitors' Association president, Manubhai Shah, owner of one of the multiplexes in Ahmedabad, said after the meeting with Mr. Dholakia that the theatre owners were not prepared to take the risk.

    The exhibitors had told Mr. Dholakia to discuss the issue with those "opposing its release" and specially screen the film for them for "clearance." But this was not acceptable to Mr. Dholakia. Mr. Shah said the theatre owners were apprehensive of "vandalism."

    Mr Dholakia said he would not arrange for any special show for those opposing its release.

    He had agreed to "compromise" on his principles to arrange for a special show for the exhibitors to decide on its release, but not for its opponents. "Whether they see the film or not, they are going to say no to its release," he said about the Parivar.

    Mr. Dholakia said he had discussed the threat perception with Ahmedabad Police Commissioner and he was prepared to provide all necessary protection.

    "And yet the theatre owners are not prepared to release it," he said.

    Mr. Dholakia said he would now consider other options, including organising "private viewing" by large groups, release it on the Internet and bring out Compact Discs and release it through cable network.

    The film was released all over the country, except in Kerala, on January 26, after the exhibitors developed cold feet at the last moment. He had expressed the confidence that it would be released in Gujarat along with Kerala on February 9.