Despite producer Antony Perumbavoor’s confirmation yesterday regarding the movie coming out on May 8, reports just in say that the release date of Mohanlal starrer Mr Fraud is May 15!
It was supposedly after a lengthy discussion that the Film Exhibitors Federation who issued the ban on the movie decided to allow it to screen on the 15th. However, they have also stated that their ban on director B Unnikrishnan will continue after the release of the movie, with respect to any future projects.
According to them, it was B Unnikrishnan, as the General Secretary of FEFKA, who instructed or influenced the artists and the technicians in the organization not to attend the inaugural function of the new FEF headquarters in Kochi, thus leading to the series of ‘bans’ and ‘ultimatums’ which culminated yesterday. Or did it?
Now, this is one version of the events as the rumours would suggest. But according to the Producers Association these so called reports are baseless and no deal has been reached between the FEF and the rest of the film fraternity regarding Mr Fraud and these false stories are being spread by everyone’s favourite bad guy at the moment – Liberty Basheer.
In fact G. Sureshkumar, the President of the Kerala Film Producers Association, says it would on be on May 5, at a meeting between the producers and the distributors that a decision would be made regarding whether or not to allow the theatres which have banned Mr Fraud to get any new movies from that day forth– until the Mohanlal starrer is released.
Mr Siyed Kokker, well known distributor, saw it fit to mention to the media that one should not forget that at least a third of the members of the FEF had agreed to screen the now controversial film in the beginning. He also pleaded to the FEF to not forget the producers and distributors who will lose money if the movie is delayed and affirmed again that a movie is simply not the creation of a single director.
Meanwhile, back at the FEF, the leadership remains adamant that it would not be possible to screen the movie on May 8 for many reasons, one of which is that the day is reserved for Rajnikanth starrer Kochadaiiyaan! More confusion here as the set date for the 3d epic’s release is May 9!
Phew! This truly is an interesting turn of events which puts B Unnikrishnan directly in the cross fire of the theatre owners’ wrath, by singling him out for his actions but weakens the FEF as more organizations along with some of their members side with the opposition. It looks like FEFKA will stand by its General Secretary on principle and if the movie is not screened on 8th, they will go forward as planned.
Either way, the incidents have revealed to those looking, just how much power these organizations or rather the few misguided and powerful individuals running them actually wield.
Is it fair to the fans that the hurt pride or sentiments of a single film maker or distributor or theatre owner could hold the entire Malayalam film industry hostage like a petulant child? No, but then one has to fall back on the party line – “All’s fair in love and war.” And for some, this was ‘war’.