Actor Raja enacts a real life drama — he attempted suicide by consuming a few sleeping pills, went to the hospital for a stomach wash, then wrote to the State Human Rights Commission stating that his film Inkokasari, which released in February, doesn’t have enough theatres to screen it.
“How many times can we postpone the release of our film? No one was willing to give us theatres to screen Inkokasari. Despite working hard on the film, my producer had no choice but to run from pillar to post to try and release it. I was depressed about this ‘unavailability of theatres’ and it drove me to attempt suicide,” Raja admitted to this correspondent.
Raja blamed the bigger players who were responsible. “Filmmakers like Allu Aravind, Suresh Babu and Dil Raju own several theatres across the state. They have a stronghold on most of these theatres and it is a monopoly. The entire industry is being controlled by a few such people who conveniently ignore small budget films,” he says. “They constantly ask us to delay the release of our films because big budget movies are slated for release on that day.”
The actor, who is also active in politics, says it is time the government steps in to allot specific theatres for small budget movies. He has also requested the state commission to enforce the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act in this case.
Although several small filmmakers have spoken about this monopoly, this is the first time that an actor has come out in the open with it. “Most theatres are owned by a few film families. As a result star sons and actors from such families have an unfair advantage over us. They even have bigger collections. I am fighting not just for my film but for all the small movies which are waiting to hit the screens,” says Raja.
D. Suresh Babu, producer
It is very unfortunate that Raja has made such allegations against us. It only puts him in poor light. There are six multiplexes in the city which are not owned by anyone from the industry. Why couldn’t Raja get prime shows for his film? He should realise that if the movie is good distributors will come forward to screen it. There is no monoploy. Distributors will be interested in screening movies of big stars as they have huge fan following and they have high expectations from them.
RK, producer, actor
Some of the bigger filmmakers own several theatres and dominate Tollywood. They are killing the film industry. But when we went on a hunger strike last year, Raja was nowhere to be seen. None of the other actors supported us either. Raja is reportedly charging Rs 40 lakh for his latest film why can’t he reduce that to help his producer? Big or small budget, if the movie is good, only then will distributors show interest.