'Yogi Duniya' was among the movies to have hit the screens on Friday.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce has joined a multi-state strike to protest against rates levied by digital service providers such as QUBE and UFO.
The Joint Action Committee of South Indian Film Producers has called the bandh against high virtual print fees (VPF).
Between them, QUBE and UFO cover about 7,000 screens across India.
VPF is the fee charged for the use of digital projectors in theatres. The projectors are to Rs 50 lakh, and theatres don't buy them. QUBE and UFO instal projectors and collect a fee for each screening. The industry feels their rates are too high.
No Kannada films will be released on March 9.
Films like 'Heegondhu Dina' and 'Yogi Duniya', among others, have been pushed to a later date.
Harish M aka Hari, director of 'Yogi Duniya', says, "We put out posters announcing the dates 15 days ago and now we have to incur losses."
Whenever a strike is called, people behind should be transparent, he urges.
"We are told movies scheduled on March 9 will be given first priority when screening resumes on March 16. But there is still a lot of confusion," he says.
Vikram Yoganand, director of 'Heegondhu Dina', was looking for a March 9 release as the film has a women-oriented subject. March 8 is Women's Day.
"Now the purpose of the release date is lost," says Vikram.
He had printed posters spending about Rs 3 lakh publicising the date of release. "We were not sure till Monday if the strike was on," he says. While the strike doesn't allow new films to be released, Navarasan, actor and producer of 2015 film 'Rakshasi,' is excited as his move is re-releasing on March 10.
"We have re-worked on our film and added more visual effects. This strike might work to our advantage as there are no new releases," he says.
Actor Sindhu Loknath, part of 'Heegondhu Dina' and 'Rakshasi', hopes 'Rakshasi' hopes the film gets the attention it deserves this time. "I am not sure what to feel about the strike though. We have waited long, but the good thing is we get more time for promoting the films," she says.
Nine movies were slated for release on March 9.
The KFCC has asked filmmakers to hold back releases till March 23.
Row over VPF
Virtual Print Fee (VPF) is the name given to a subsidy paid by a film distributor
towards the purchase of digital cinema projection equipment by cinema halls
for first release motion pictures. The subsidy is paid in the form of a fee per
booking of a movie, intended to match the savings that occurs by not shipping
a film print. The model is designed to help redistribute the savings realised by
studios when using digital distribution instead of film print distribution.