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'Gunday' distributors arm-twisting in Assam?

Sources say that distributors of 'Gunday' forcibly removed an Assamese film from local screens in a bid to accommodate more shows for the YRF film

If sources are to be believed, YRF distributors in Assam have forcibly replaced an Assamese film — titled 'Raag' — with their latest release, 'Gunday'.

From left: Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh in 'Gunday'
From left: Arjun Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh in 'Gunday'

It is being said that Raag — which has been produced by the Assam Film Development Corporation (ASFDC) and Manna films, and has been directed by Rajni Basumatary — has fared quite well in Assam. A source says that the film, that stars Adil Hussain, would have continued its good streak if it was allowed a run in the second week, but the YRF film’s distributors apparently had it removed from local screens to make way for 'Gunday'.

While Raag’s director remained unavailable for comment, the film’s lead actress, Zerifa Wahid vouches for the encouraging response received by the film so far. “A government funded project, this film was doing good, but it has now been removed from local screens to allow room for 'Gunday'. It’s unfortunate that we have fallen prey to this. Such incidents have happened in the past as well,” she says.

She adds that the film was doing brisk business in towns outside Guwahati too. “The YRF exhibitors took up all the five slots leaving us with no shows. A lot of people wanted to watch our film, and I hope they get to see it later. I also hope that audiences get to watch Hiya Diba Kak, another Assamese film that is scheduled to release next week. Bollywood films shouldn’t force us out of the running; there is a strong need for cultural awakening,” she says.

A source on condition of anonymity says, “This production house has wielded its clout against several regional films; they do this to low-budget Hindi films as well. It needs to be stopped.” When contacted, a YRF spokesperson denied the story. “No terms and conditions were laid down for the release of 'Gunday',” was their official statement.

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