By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, April 9 (IANS) The entire Hindi film fraternity - from Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan to Farhan Akhtar, Sanjay Gupta and Pritish Nandy - feels that joining hands against the multiplexes over revenue sharing is bound to yield a solution soon.
This is what they have to say:
Farhan Akhtar: We make films for viewers and do realise that this deadlock between the producers and the distributors may inconvenience them. Therefore every member of our association the United Producers & Distributors Association (UPDA) felt it most important that cinegoers should be informed of our grievances with the mutiplexes. Cinegoers should understand that producers and distributors are justified in their stand. What we seek will also benefit cinegoers.
Subhash Ghai: On April 7, I was very proud to see solidarity within our fraternity. They made their point with so much dignity. I hope a solution is found so that both the producers and the multiplexes are able to share the benefits. We should not forget that it's finally one industry.
Ritesh Sidhwani: The united forum for producers is one of the best things to have happened to us. I feel tackling the multiplexes is now so much easier since we've come together as one united body for the first time. In fact, the next project for the UPDA is to combat piracy. And we intend to go at it full-throttle by first banning illegal screening of new releases on cable television. But first we hope to come to a semblance of solution about the multiplexes in the next couple of days.
Mahesh Bhatt: The coming together of the fraternity in spite of the differences within is our greatest achievement. It has silenced those who said that the film industry is an army of generals who can never join hands to take on these bullies. The road ahead is hard. But there's a do or die resolve within our fraternity. It will carve a happy ending.
Sanjay Gupta: The UPDA meeting on Tuesday achieved a never-before show of solidarity among the fraternity. The mutiplex owners have no choice but to agree to our demands which are just and correct. The solution finally is delayed and not denied.
Pritish Nandy: A solution is inevitable and will happen soon. Both sides have time on their hands now, what with the IPL (Indian Premier League) and elections both of which will grab increasing mindshare in the coming weeks. After that the pressure to hammer out an equitable and responsible solution will be immense on both sides. The yin cannot kill the yang.
Madhu Mantena: I think after a long time we were able to send a message across that as a collective industry we stand united on the issue. As both the moviemaking and the multiplex industries are interdependent, a quick solution is inevitable. When mutiplexes were incepted with Fame Adlabs, we were on the same revenue share wavelength that producers are asking for now. So I don't think it's unreasonable for the multiplexes to agree to our demands. This Friday-to-Friday haggling between producers and multiplex owners has to stop.
Satish Kaushik: Though I was not present in the meeting that gathering showed the solidarity among producers. No solution has come yet. But it would have to for the sake of the audience. Everyone is a little relaxed right now because of the IPL.
Vipul Shah: Unless you take a stand a crisis cannot be resolved. I think a message has been sent out loud and clear that we producers are united on the multiplex issue. This is the acid test for the UPDA. Unity is the essence. And we have it.
Goldie Behl: That we producers have come together for once is in itself an achievement. A solution is inevitable because neither industry can survive without the other. The producers have an alternate means of exhibition. But the multiplexes have no choice.
Madhur Bhandarkar: Unity among the producers was a clear achievement. The crisis has to end soon. The mutiplexes have to agree to the new profit sharing formula.
Bhooshan Kumar: I leave it to a dependable spokesperson like Karan Johar to speak on the issue. But we all want this crisis to be resolved as soon as possible.