HYDERABAD: Three days before SS Rajamouli’s much-awaited magnum opus Baahubali hits screens across the country, the makers launched a tirade against piracy. They threatened movie operators to curb the menace and urged the general public to refrain from piracy.
Well-known producer and distributor Allu Aravind jumped on board with team Baahubali and rallied against the piracy.
“It is the responsibility of theatre owners to stop the menace. For long, people have been recording films inside theatres not just with their cell-phones but also with professional cameras, that too with the knowledge of theatre operators,” fumed Aravind.
Touted as India’s most expensive film, Baahubuli’s two parts have been made on a whopping budget of around `250 crore and there’s a lot at stake for the producers Shobu Yarlagadda, K Raghavendra Rao and Prasad Devineni.
Warning theatre operators of severe consequences if they refuse to keep a check, Aravind said they could face suspension from the film industry for a long time.
“If anyone shoots a film with a camera in a particular theatre, we would know about it immediately because of a special code printed as a watermark on the film. If we find out that any theatre is aiding piracy, we will ban that theatre from screening any film for atleast a year,” warned an angry Aravind.
In a first for any Indian film, Baahubali has been granted a ‘John Doe order’, an order of injunction that is issued against unknown persons. This means, if the authorities trace the download link or obtain a proof of piracy from illegal uploads on the internet, then all those who are found downloading or viewing them will automatically get added to the case as individual defendants.
“We have been trying to curb this menace for quite sometime and despite repeated efforts, people have found a way to indulge in piracy. It has come to my notice that in some theatres, after the night show, they organise a special show for piracy activities,” revealed director SS Rajamouli.
Urging people to refrain from piracy, Rajamouli said that team Baahubali was determined to track down criminals. “Nine criminals have been identified in Bangalore and the police have been of great help to us. Hopefully, soon the culprits will be caught and we can put an end to it,” Rajamouli, optimistically added.
Actor Rana Daggubati, who plays the lead antagonist in the film, was equally vocal against piracy.
“Piracy is like stealing. Cinema is an art-form and illegally showcasing a film is no different from stealing a cellphone or other valuable items. I hope people understand this and refrain from piracy,” Rana expressed.
To be released in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil, Baahubali also features Prabhas, Anushka Shetty and Tamannaah Bhatia in important roles, and is set to release on July 10.