A Film Lauded by Outsiders Turned Away at Home

The team behind Nanu Avanalla Avalu is struggling to get single-screen theatre owners in the city to screen the film, which has won national and international accolades
A Film Lauded by Outsiders Turned Away at Home

QUEEN’S ROAD: B S Lingadevaru’s Nanu Avanalla Avalu may have landed Sanchari Vijay the national award for best actor, but the film is getting no love from local theatre owners and distributors.

It is based on I am Vidya, the autobiography of Living Smile Vidya. It focusses on transgenders’ struggle for acceptance

in society. The film is to hit the screens on Friday, but while it has managed to find place in multiplexes across the state, single-screen theatre owners in the city’s cinema centre Gandhinagar are not ready to screen it as they think it is not “commercial” enough.

“The film got good response when it was screened at the Indian Film Festival Melbourne in Australia, but we are getting no respect from our very own Gandhinagar. This has been happening for years and the system will not change. Most single-screen owners think that no national award-winning film will run in their theatres,” said Lingadevaru.

“Given the way even regular Kannada films are handled by Gandhinagar distributors, I did not expect them to receive us well. This week, there are four Kannada releases. While the other three — Chandrika, Arjuna and Second Hand Lover — have managed to get into a good number of theatres, we are still trying to get one to screen our movie, which has been recognised nationally and internationally,” he said.

On the brighter side, the film industry is out in full force in support of Nanu Avanalla Avalu. “Actor Yash is going out of his way and lending us support. The moment he heard about our problem, he took us to the residence of distributors Jayanna and Bogendra. We sat there and discussed the matter for almost two hours. Yash requested them to support us but we have to wait a couple of days for their response,” Lingadevaru said.

“A few actors, writers and directors including Girish Kasaravalli got in touch with us right after the national award was announced. Shivarajkumar watched the movie and appreciated us. Sudeep, Sharan, Ganesh have been spreading the word. Ram Gopal Varma watched a clip and concluded that our film was of a completely a new genre.”

But as far as Gandhinagar is concerned, all the praise has fallen on deaf ears. “Their first preference is commercial cinema. As our film has won a national award, they have ruled us out of that category. I requested many of them to watch the film and then decide whether to support it or not. None of them were ready to do that. In fact, we have not had any support from the media either. They aren’t ready to play the film’s promo without any returns,” the director said.

Lingadevaru, who is often associated with offbeat films, is not inclined to go the commercial way at the cost of quality. He is determined to prove that good films click, no matter what. “The release time is crucial and we need support. Thankfully, a few Rotary Club members have come forward and are ready to buy 10,000 tickets but I can only confirm with them after I get the complete list of theatres and show timings. I have requested the multiplexes who are giving the movie two shows to give us at least one show around 7 pm.”

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The New Indian Express