A body of film and TV producers has said films like “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and “Raees”, which are set for release, should not be targeted after the cinema owners association announced it won’t allow the screening of the movies with Pakistani artistes .
The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd (Guild) said it stands by the government in its fight against terrorism but stopping films from releasing will result in heavy losses for the makers.
Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) yesterday announced it won’t release movies starring actors from Pakistan, in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa.
This has put an uncertainty on the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” as it features Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan.
The movie, also starring Aishwarya Rai, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, is slated to hit theatres on October 28.
“The Guild in no uncertain terms confirms the film industry stands in unison with the Government’s recent steps to counter terrorism. It will naturally abide by any decision taken by the Central Government with regard to future policy on issuance of work visa to foreign artistes.
“However, we would urge the central and state governments to appreciate that the film producers, who have already shot their films or are in the process of completing their unfinished films, should not end up paying heavy price for no fault of theirs due to engaging the services of talent from across the border.
“These artistes were employed through proper legal channels prior to the recent escalation of hostilities,” Mukesh Bhatt, President of the Guild, said in a statement here.
The Guild urged the government to ensure smooth release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, which has already been certified by the Censor Board.
“The Guild urges the central and state governments to not only ensure smooth release of such films, including ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, as well as to guide the industry on the way forward with respect to the mechanism to be adopted in hiring or utilisation of talent associated with our neighbours.”
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s another upcoming movie, “Dear Zindagi”, is also among the projects on the receiving end of COEAI’s decision. It stars Pakistani actor-singer Ali Zafar and is set to release in November.