New Indian releases deadlocked

Nine-month distribution delay still in debate

MUMBAI — Indian producers and distribbers are yet to break the month-long deadlock that has stopped new releases as the prime pre-monsoon movie-going season reaches its peak.

Producers are set to start their own distribution federation in the disputed New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal states, the Hindi-speaking belt that makes up the bulk of Bollywood auds, where distribbers have yet to agree to the proposed nine-month delay between a pic’s release and its sale to TV and video.

“There is really no solution in sight,” said Pahlaj Nihalani, prexy of producers’ org AMPTPP. “Neither the producers nor the exhibitors can wait any more. We have already initiated proceedings to set up our own federation and the formalities should be complete any time now.

“Though we aren’t happy with doing that, the truth is, when we are ready to release our movies and the exhibitors are ready to exhibit at their theaters we don’t really need the distribbers.”

Meanwhile, Tips Industries has decided to release “Ishq vishk” on Friday in the areas that have agreed to the nine-month gap and there are eight movies waiting for the go ahead.

“All movies are now free to release,” Nihalani said. “In the disputed territories, they will talk to exhibitors individually.”

However, in the past distributors have retaliated against producers who have gone ahead with releases. It has slapped a five-year ban on product from Time Productions after it released “Hero: The Love Story of a Spy.”

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