Hindi films have not been released in Manipur since 2000 after separatist groups banned Bollywood films and Hindi TV shows in the state. But what if the film is based on the life of a boxer who hails from the north-eastern state, and has represented India on international platforms?
Till a while ago, reports emerging from Imphal stated that there was little or no chance of the upcoming biopic based on boxer Mary Kom’s life getting a release there. Now, however, we’ve been told that the state government is trying to come to the aid of the makers.
A source close to the production house reveals, "The Manipur state government is helping the team, since the entire film is about a boxer who hails from the region. It is a matter of pride for them. While there are groups who are objecting to the release owing to the 14-year-long ban on Hindi films there, a few officials from the government — who are also in touch with the production house — are trying to reason with them."
With the state government showing support, we’re told that the makers of the film have received some encouragement. The source says, "If the film does get a release in the state, the money earned in this region will be given to the Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation which is based in Imphal."
When contacted, the spokesperson of the production house confirms the development.
Meanwhile, the biopic has been declared tax free in Maharashtra. Spokesperson of producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali said the tax free status will encourage audience to recognise and support the spirit of the film.
"It is wonderful news. We have a compelling story to tell of a strong, determined woman who has done the nation proud. It is our tribute to all the unsung sports people who give so much to see the Indian flag flying high. If this can act as a catalyst of hope for them, then its something we can all be proud of," Priyanka, who is playing the five-time world champion in Mary Kom said in a statement.
Mary Kom, directed by Omung Kumar, is slated to hit theatres on September 5.
With PTI inputs