For all those cinema lovers who are planning to catch up on a Bollywood film at 6 pm in a multiplex, you will have to rethink about your plans. The reason being Maharashtra’s Culture Minister Vinod Tawde’s announcement that the multiplexes should now be screening Marathi films during the prime time from 6pm to 9pm. This decision was taken in the state assembly which was held yesterday.
Tawade reasoned his move stating that when Ashok Chavan was the acting Chief Minister, he had given concessions to multiplexes that the morning time (shows) will be reserved for Marathi cinemas. Tawade added that, he has only changed the same to prime time now, but had not changed the number of shows the multiplexes will have to organize.
Tawade’s decision has met with mixed reaction from the Bollywood fraternity. While on one hand, Ritesh Deshmukh termed the decision as ‘welcome news’, on the other hand, Onir felt that regional cinema needed state support. Film maker Mukesh Bhatt (also the President – The Film & TV Producers Guild) criticized this decision by saying that while Bollywood doesn’t object to Marathi films getting subsidies and getting exempted from entertainment tax, he questioned that how can one pass such a diktat without consulting all the stakeholders. Rishi Kapoor, took to twitter and expressed his anger by tweeting that “You can’t thrust anything on anyone zabardasti”. Film maker Ashoke Pandit (also a Censor Board member) said that any kind of force was just not good for democracy.
Besides rescheduling the Marathi films’ timings, Tawade also said that it was compulsory for all multiplexes and single screen theatres to air a 1.30 minute (approximately) audio-visual that’s made on the late Dadasaheb Phalke before the commencement of the movie. The audio-visual will be in the language in which the film is being screened. Tawde also said that Bollywood should extend its full-fledged support towards the regional language films.