Film industry fears blackout over political interference

Wednesday, 1 August 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Private sector of film industry calls for quick action from top Govt. authorities
  • Alleges ministerial  interference over screening of international movies scheduled to be released next week
  • Says political interference worrying investors, partners, distributors in the industry
  • Fears there will be no income for loans, salaries or future business 

With political interference breaching the cinema trade, private sector film industry stakeholders yesterday warned of imminent danger, insisting that if no speedy action was taken at the decision-making level the country would suffer a massive economic cost. 

“Politics should not interfere with the screening of films,” Liberty Cinemas Ltd. Managing Director Imthiaz J. Cader told the Daily FT.

He pointed out that the subject minister had directed the National Film Corporation (NFC) Chairman not to provide approval for two international movies the company is set to release next week at Colombo’s latest multiplex.

“The Equalizer 2 (censored version) and The Darkest Minds are scheduled to be released next week but I learn now that the Minister has instructed the NFC Chairman not to give approval for the release. This is unreasonable,” he claimed.

Cader said that they had also appealed to higher authorities within the Government over the matter, noting that political interference was hindering the progress of the cinema industry. 

With 36 new film screens set to open in the next five years and 16 to be opened in the middle of next month, he said ad-hoc policy decisions and political interference were worrying investors, partners and stakeholders within the industry. 

“We cannot go on like this. It is important to have sufficient movies to be shown in these cineplexes that are opening up. We have made significant investments in setting up these facilities and building partnerships with international film distributors. We need to run with a Return on Investment (ROI),” he emphasised.

Cader said that he feared with 26 more films to be released this year, if political interference kept disrupting the trade he would have no income to repay loans, remunerate employees or operate future business.