By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: If you haven’t read too many reviews and write-ups of some of the small-budget films released earlier this month, it is with good reason.
The producers of at least two of this month’s releases claim they were asked for money to gain access into the cluttured screening times in the multiplexes.
Jaideep Chopra, who has produced and directed the riveting thriller Maazii, says he was denied shows in the mutiplex chains. “They were asking me to buy shows.Rs 1 lakh per screen for one show per day for 7 days. So if I reserved ten screens I’d have to pay Rs 10 lakh per day to the multiplex chains.I couldn’t afford this unexpected pressure on my limited budget.”
Jaideep decided to bravely release his film in the meager outlets available to him.
But his film went unnoticed on release. Jaideep has now decided to cough up the money demanded by some multiplex chains to re-release his film on October 11.
“It’s a losing battle for us independent producers,” says Rohit Khaitan whose Prague was released in random theatres , hence ensuring a burial for the thought-provoking experimental film even before it was released.
Khaitan says, “Everything from screenings to ‘standies’ at multiplex chains have to be paid for by us struggling producers. We have no choice but to pay up as the big corporate production houses monopolize the multiplex chains.”