Multiple challenges to screening of Baahubali 2

No distributor dares to buy theatrical rights

Multiple challenges to screening of Baahubali 2

No distributor has so far come forward to take the theatrical rights of the much-anticipated film Baahubali 2 in Karnataka.

The mega budget multi-language movie is set for worldwide release on April 28.

If the present stalemate continues between Sathyaraj, who has huge screen presence as Kattappa in Baahubali 1 and 2 and pro-Kannada organisations, then the producers of the movie will have to skip Karnataka. Besides, there are other challenges too for the producers to screen the movie here.

Kannada activists have raised objections to well-established Tamil film actor Sathyaraj’s certain objectionable remarks against Kannadigas during the Cauvery river water sharing issue some years ago. The video clipping of his speech has now gone viral which has left pro-Kannada associations fretting and fuming.

Forget Baahubali 2, even the re-release of Baahubali 1 last week was not allowed in a multiplex in Bengaluru.

The activists are demanding an apology in public from Sathyaraj if the screening has to be allowed. The actor has not yet reacted to the controversy.  

Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce President Sa Ra Govindu on Wednesday said, “Till now neither the actor nor the producers have approached the Chamber to discuss the issue. Unless the actor apologises, the screening will not take place in Karnataka. He has insulted Kannadigas.”

Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj said a group of pro-Kannada organisations have decided to come together to register a protest against Sathyaraj on April 28. The agitation will be limited to Bengaluru, but the screening will not be allowed anywhere in the state. The protest is against only the actor, not the movie, he added.

M N Kumar, one of the top Kannada film producers, who is supporting the protest, said Baahubali 1 theatrical rights were with R S Productions headed by Kanakapura Srinivas. “I am told it was bought for Rs 18 crore. For Baahubali 2, the distribution rights are said to be quoted at around Rs 40 crore. When there is controversy, who will invest so much money? The producers may themselves screen the movie. It is to be seen whether they will venture out now because the issue is sensitive in nature.”

K P Srikanth, a film producer, said three factors which are  discouraging distributors to buy the rights for Baahubali 2 are — the Rs 200 cap on movie tickets price, Sathyaraj’s derogatory remarks and successful running of Kannada film Raajakumara across the state. In addition, Darshan-starrer Chakravarthy is going to be released soon.

At present, it is difficult to get theatres. The scenario may change if there is a truce between Sathyaraj and Kannada activists, Srikanth said.
DH News Service

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