Call it the Raj-Uddhav Thackeray effect!
At least, that is what Marathi film director Kishor Pandurang Belekar would like to believe is the reason for over 40 multiplexes deciding to screen his thriller Sa Sasucha, releasing on August 27.
"There is no denying the fact that the stance by these leaders on the issue of Marathi films in multiplexes has helped. Multiplexes have come forward to screen my film," Belekar told PTI in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Over 80 cinema halls, including around 25 multiplexes in Mumbai, have decided to screen the film, the director said.
"MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena executive President Uddhav Thackeray raised the issue (of multiplexes turning away from Marathi films), after which the state government also took some positive steps," he said.
"There is also a fact that my film is a suspense thriller. There was nothing in the horror genre in Marathi film. I had showed video quality to multiplexes and they agreed to screen the film," he said.
"Multiplex owners are calling me up, asking for posters of my film to be put up along with Hindi films," Belekar, who is also the editor and scriptwriter of the film, said.
Uddhav had asked multiplex owners to reduce the price of tickets for Marathi films, saying, "Ticket prices should be affordable for the Marathi common man."
If multiplex owners fail to take a decision immediately, the Sena would take up the issue in its own way, he had warned.
Raj Thackeray had on August 10 directed all multiplex owners to screen Marathi films at prime time.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had last week indicated that the state government would act against multiplexes violating
norms. On the functioning of the Marathi Chitrapat Mahanadal, the apex organisation of Marathi film industry, Belekar said,
"Mahamandal people are so busy in garnering commission for subsidy to films from government that they don't have time for
The film stars Sonali Kulkarni, Vinay Apte, Yatin Karyekar and Omkar Karve.
Photograph: Sahil Salvi