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In a stiff move against the Cine Exhibitors Federation's stand to release Mammootty's Maya Bazaar and Mohanlal's Kurukshetra only in 'A' class theatres during this Ramzan season, the Kerala Film Exhibitors' Federation has decided not to screen any big budget movies in 'A' class theatres during this Ramzan. There are about 48 'A' class theatres in the state.
The producers of both Maya Bazaar and Kurukshetra have arranged to take 80 prints of each film for screening (including B class theatres) in the state during Ramzan. Reports said that the tug of war between producers and exhibitors in the Malayalam film industry has worsened.
The recent controversy between producers and exhibitors on the Ramzan releases began when the Cine Exhibitors' Federation (CEF), an organization of 'A' class theatres in Kerala, took a stand that the Ramzan releases Maya Bazaar and Kurukshetra should be released only in their 48 centres. The basis of their stand was that the theatre owners have paid a token advance to the producers of both films for releasing the films exclusively in their theatres.
CEF also gave a letter to Santhosh Damor, producer of Mohanlal starrer Kurukshetra, urging him to obtain a 'No Objection Certificate' from the Federation if he wants to release the movie in more centres. Ignoring this request, the producers of Kurukshetra and Maya Bazaar decided to release their films in 80 centres including B class theatres during the season.
Meanwhile, CEF claimed that the producers are obliged to release films in limited theatres, since they have received advance from these theatre owners. They also alleged that producers are breaching the contract by releasing the movies in more than 48 centres.
On the other hand, the Film Producers' Association argues that it is CEF which is violating another contract signed last March, which allows any number of releasing centres in the state. The general council of the Federation will be convened on 4th October at Grand Hotel, Kochi for further action on the issue.