THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan,award-winning filmmaker,who had been on a high after his second film ‘Ozhivudivasathe Kali’ was selected for Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF), has suffered an unexpected setback.The Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC) has decided to withdraw his ‘Oralppokkam’ from theatres, despite a decent showing at the box office. “During the last couple of months some quality offbeat films got a theatre release with the help of KSFDC. Some of them were shown at the theatres for three weeks. But my film, which was released last week, will be pulled out of the theatres tomorrow (Thursday). KSFDC officials have come up with all sorts of illogical explanations for doing that. They claim that they promote good films, while doing just the opposite,” he said. According to Sanal,the sudden hostility shown by the KSFDC had taken him completely by surprise. Moreover,he said that he will launch various forms of protest from Thursday against the severe injustice meted out to him.
“We have data proving there is reasonable collection from all centres. It’s a film that bagged several prestigious awards and while they screen many mediocre mainstream films in 95 per cent empty theatres, they are denying my film any chance,” he said. Sanal said on an average at least 100 cinegoers have been watching the film here and the number is gradually going up. “More and more people are coming to the theatres as the film is getting critical acclaim and word of mouth publicity. Pulling it out of theatres at such a crucial time will be very unjust,” he added.
Director Biju said that KSFDC has been doing the same with all art-house filmmakers. “I had to go through the same experience several times in the past. Their attitude towards parallel filmmakers have not changed over the years. My ‘Akashathinte Niram’ was taken off the theatres, though, there was a good crowd,” he said. Biju added that it’s not an issue about just one film, but a very serious one regarding the release of good, multiple-award winning films. KSFDC authorities, however, could not be reached for their comment.