The film industry has cancelled and postponed events and launches as a mark of respect towards those martyred in Pulwama.
In the wake of the Pulwama attack, on one hand, the Indian filmmakers are calling for a ban on Indian films releasing in Pakistan, events with any remote connection to Pakistan are being postponed or cancelled and the film industry is up in arms. The India-based Rekhta Foundation organises the popular Jashn e Rekhta in Dubai every year where the film and artistic community is invited to talk about Urdu poetry. Hours after Javed Akhtar cancelled his trip to Karachi Pakistan to attend an event along with wife and actress Shabana Azmi, the Rekhta organisers also cancelled the event which was to feature Javed Akhtar along with Pakistani actors Mahira Khan, Ali Zafar, Sanam Marci and Sarmad Khoosat. The organisers decided to not go ahead with the event at the moment and are even refunding the ticket monies. “In light of this tragedy, it has been decided to postpone the event until further notice,” reads a statement.
Keeping the current scenario in mind, the makers of Notebook also decided to postpone the trailer launch of their film. Notebook is produced under Salman’s production house Salman Khan Films. “Salman had plans to launch the trailer of his film Notebook but keeping the current situation in mind, the makers had apparently pushed it for a few days,” source said. Kangana Ranaut, who was all set to host the success bash of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi has cancelled the event in solidarity with those who died.
Even Yoodlee Films has decided to delay the release of its upcoming film ‘Hamid’. The makers were planning a special screening for CRPF Jawans in Srinagar on Monday ahead of the release of the film on March 1st but given the tragic incident, the producers strongly felt that the film should not be released at this point. “We are under attack now and this is neither the time nor the right atmosphere for us to release our film or for people to absorb the narrative of the film - hence we have decided to shift the date of release. We will take a call on the subsequent release date shortly.” Incidentally, the film is based on a relationship between a CRPF jawan and an 8-year-old Kashmiri boy. “The film was made with the attempt to bridge the gap of alienation because that is the very root cause of what is happening in the valley. At this time, we feel that the very attempt of peace and the work that our Jawans are doing is being undermined,” says director Aijaz Khan.
Meanwhile, the film industry bodies led by the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) and associations of make up men, cinematographers and others have decided to stop work for two hours on Sunday at Mumbai’s Film City and other Mumbai studios to protest against the attack and offer prayers to the bereaved families of the CRPF jawans. FWICE president BN Tiwari says that around 10000 people are expected at the Film City gates. “We had initially asked everyone to stop work the whole day. But we have 28 film business associations with us including several departmental bodies like costume, make up etc. The Indian Film and Television Producers Council has also decided to support us but requested us not to stop work for the entire day. So we decided to keep a bandh between 2 and 4 pm and voice our protest for the killing of our jawans. If people from the industry cannot come to us, our people will go there and ensure that no film production or post-production takes place across Mumbai,” says Tiwari adding that many filmmakers and a few Bollywood stars are also expected to be present at the protest on Sunday.
Star cricketer Virat Kohli has also postponed the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours, which was to take place on Saturday. The star-studded event would have had many Bollywood celebrities hobnobbing at the event. “The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours has been postponed. At this heavy moment of loss that we all find ourselves in, we would like to cancel this event that was scheduled to take place tomorrow,” Kohli wrote on his twitter handle.
- With inputs from Sanskriti Media and Uma Ramasubramanian