This show won’t draw movie-goers

Film producers’ body threatens to lock cinema hall

Kathmandu, November 22:

The Nepal Film Producers’ Association (NFPA) and Bishwo Jyoti Cinema Hall (BJCH)are engaged in a dispute over the planned release of a film in the BJCH. The NFPA has threatened to padlock the BJCH if the latter does not give up its stance.

The NFPA has accused the BJCH of breaking the agreement, which states that movies can be shown in the halls of Kathmandu only after the NFPA and the Nepal Film Association (NFA), an association of movies exhibitors, gives the exhibitors the go-ahead to release certain movies in their halls in Kathmandu.

With understanding of the NFPA and the NFA, four movies get placed in queue for release in Kathmandu and the exhibitors should release the movies accordingly, the agreement says. The NFPA has accused the owner of the Biswo Jyoti Hall of surpassing the established practice and planning to exhibit another movie, which was not in the queue.

The BJCH says it is showing Maryada, a film produced by Sanjaya Kutu, from tomorrow.

However, Keshav Bhattarai, general secretary of the NFPA, said the BJCH is trying to violate the agreement and showing Maryada instead of Jeevandata, starting Rajesh Hamal, Biraj Bhatta, Ramit Dhungana and Jharna Thapa.

The NFPA said it will padlock the BJCH if the latter shows Maryada tomorrow.

Mohan Saraf, owner of the BJCH, refuted the allegation and accused the NFPA of playing a dirty game with him. “They say I have bypassed Jeevandata and the system, but Jeevandata was scheduled to be released in the BJCH on November 9. The producer himself terminated the agreement and I have written proof to prove my point.” As the producer of Jeevandata did not approach him on the date, I planned to show Maryada. “I cannot keep my hall empty.”

Countering Saraf, Sushil Pokharel, producer of Jeevandata, said he put off the date for the exhibition of his movie due to “a technical problem”. He claimed he had not terminated the agreement with the BJCH. “I approached Saraf many times and requested him to show my movie, but he took no heed.”

I approached the NFPA after the injustice, Pokharel said.

Ishwar Chandra Gyawali, president of the Nepal Film Development Board, said both the parties are to blame for this situation. “There are flaws in the system and they need to be done away with.” He added that a new code of conduct should be made immediately.