Kites withdrawn from theatres in Karnataka


Hrithik Roshan’s much-hyped film Kites has been withdrawn from theatres across Karnataka after it was found that the distributor had allegedly flouted the norms set by Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce (KFCC), the apex body of the film industry in the state.

According to KFCC rules, only 13 prints of non-Kannada films can be released on the first week. The number of prints can be increased in subsequent weeks. It means only 13 theatres all over the state can screen non-Kannada films on the first week of release.

“However, in the case of Kites, Reliance Big Pictures released 45 prints, a major violation. In their media advertisements, they have listed the names of 90 theatres across the state for screening Kites. It means they don’t care for KFCC or its rules,” said KFCC president Basanth Kumar Patil.

The KFCC directed all theatres on Friday morning to stop screening of Kites. The theatre owners, who are members of the KFCC, had to comply with the directive. Enthusiastic fans, who turned up at the theatres to watch the movie on day one were in for great disappointment. Most of them had booked the tickets for the movie in advance. The theatres refunded the ticket fare to the patrons in Mysore, Bangalore and Mangalore.

However, a few multiplexes, which were unaware of the directive and not members of the KFCC, continued the screening of the movie in Bengalooru. The KFCC office-bearers visited one multiplex and disrupted the screening of Kites. Following this, all the multiplexes stopped screening the film. Basanth Kumar Patil was detained by the police for a while for disrupting the screening of movie. However, he was released later.

The restriction on the number of prints of other language movies was imposed more than a decade ago as Kannada film-makers could not find theatres to release their films. Bengalooru, a cosmopolitan city, is one of the top markets for Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films. Kannada film-makers have to fight for theatres to screen movies.

“Time and again, distributors are violating our rule. We will urge the government to legislate this rule,” Patil added. He pointed out that the KFCC would not permit screening of Kites till the distributors came to the discussion table.

Most of the theatre owners have been violating this rule whenever a big budget movie is released. The same problem cropped up when Hollywood blockbusters Avataar, 2012 and Telugu movie Magadheera were released in excess prints.

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