If the release of the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is stalled then it will cause huge revenue loss to producers and distributors.
Uncertainty looms over the release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” featuring Pakistan actor Fawad Khan after Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India’s (COEAI) decision to not screen films with Pakistani actors in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and parts of Karnataka. The association had taken this step in the aftermath of Uri terror attack incident which led to strained relations between India and Pakistan. Even Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had warned producers and directors to refrain from casting Pakistani actors. Besides “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ even Raees movie has landed in trouble as Pakistani actress Mahira Khan is featuring in it. The decision of COEAI to not screen these films in theatres will cause huge losses to producers and distributors. Since ADHM is a big budget movie hence it will become difficult for its makers to recover the cost. While the movie was slated to hit the screens on October 28, the COEAI decision has cast doubts if it will see the light of the day any time soon.
COEAI president Nitin Datar said after a meeting of members: “It was decided that keeping in mind the patriotic feelings and national interest, we have requested all member exhibitors to refrain from screening movies which have involvement of any Pakistani artiste, technician, director or music director.”
“We are also in the process of requesting other associations connected with the film industry to support the sentiments in the best interest of our nation,” he added.
Film distributor Rajesh Thadani says, “Whatever is the business of the film in the Mumbai territory, the film can suffer at least 25% loss. It depends on how many theatres abide by the decision.”
“If the film is not released in theatres then people will definitely watch its pirated version on laptops and mobile phones which will cause huge revenue loss to the film industry. The COEAI, producers and distributors must have a dialogue with the government to sort this matter at the earliest,” said a film trade analyst on the condition of anonymity.
“I was keenly looking forward to the release of the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. However, if the film is not screened in theatres it will be a huge disappointment for a movie buff like me. Politics and arts should not be mixed,” said Sumit Seth a TY Bsc student from Borivali.
On the other hand, the Film & Television Producers Guild of India has extended its support to Karan Johar’s film. The guild has appealed to the government to take into account the concerns of producers who have hired Pakistani artists.
“Several producers have already shot their movies while some others will soon complete the shooting of their movies. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) have already certified the movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. The Guild will abide by the decisions of the government and pledge its support to the sacrosanct national interests. The Guild urges the Central and State Governments to not only ensure smooth release of such films including Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, as well as to guide the industry on the way forward with respect to the mechanism to be adopted in hiring or utilization of talent associated with our neighbours.”