In May 2010, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) did not allow Anurag Basu’s Kites to release in 50 screens in the southern state. Citing one of the many restrictions imposed by the association, the producers Reliance Entertainment were forced to release the Hrithik Roshan-starrer in only 20-odd screens.
Later that year, before the release of Raavan, the producers took up the issue with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) by filing a case against the KFCC and various other film associations in the country for the restrictions imposed on non-regional films. Though following that move, Reliance claims that they had to get special permission to release each of their films that year, the producers are now glad they brought up the matter.
On Sunday, the CCI passed an imperative judgement wherein it dissolved some of the restrictions imposed by film associations, including the diktat wherein producers, distributors and exhibitors were expected to register with the film associations as per the territory they were looking to release their movies in. Sanjeev Lamba, CEO, Reliance Entertainment says, “This order will pave way for opening up business opportunities, increased revenues for filmmakers and will remove the intermediaries and extortionists once for all.”
After Reliance, studios such as UTV and Eros International also approached the CCI. Taking all the petitions into consideration, the watchdog has also imposed a penalty on seven such film associations, wherein they will be expected to shell out “10 per cent of the average of the three years receipts or income”. The seven associations include KFCC, Central Circuit Cine Association (CCCA), Bihar and Jharkhand Motion Pictures Association (BJMPA), Motion Pictures Association (MPA), North Indian Motion Pictures Association (NIMPA), Eastern India Motion Picture Association (EIMPA) and Indian Motion Pictures Distributors Association (IMPDA). The committee has directed all the concerned film organisations to implement the change within their system within three months of the receipt of the legal order.
Associations should not
compel filmmakers to become members as a pre-condition for exhibition of their films in the territories under their
Associations should not keep rules and regulations which makes any discrimination between regional and
State associations should not put any condition regarding hold back period for release of films through other media like CD, satellite etc.
Associations should not have any rules and restrictions on the number of screens on the basis of language or the manner in which a particular film is to be exhibited should be done away with
As per the order, the KFCC is currently expected to cough up R16.82 lakh as penalty. CCCA will pay Rs 8.85 lakh, IMPDA will shell out Rs 4.27 lakh and EIMPA will pay Rs 5.88 lakh.