Those who like watching films — especially Tamil films — are feeling a vacuum in Karnataka. Ever since the Cauvery water row erupted between the two states, theatres in Karnataka have stopped the screening of Tamil films.
The Cauvery water row took a turn for the worst in Karnataka two weeks back when Bengaluru and other parts of the state experienced violence and a total shut-down. Since then theatre owners are being cautious, deciding not to screen Tamil films, although there has been no official diktat as such. Theatres that used to screen Tamil films have turned to movies in other languages, including English, to keep their revenues going. However, according to industry analysts, Tamil films only bring in around 20 percent of the revenues.
There are numerous big ticket Tamil films that have been lined up for the coming month, like Devi, Rekka, Kashmora and Remo. While standalone theatres that regularly screen Tamil films are sure to feel the pinch of the revenue losses, film producers will also lose out. Since the Karnataka market is now out-of-bounds, they need to depend more on the sale price of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh rights and revenues.
The next hearing in the Supreme Court on the Cauvery issue has been scheduled for September 30. Whether Tamil films will hit theatres in Karnataka next week remains to be seen. The decision clearly depends on the verdict and what steps are taken by the respective state governments. Meanwhile, movie fans in the state are ruing the fact that they are losing out on some good films.