In a climbdown, the Maharashtra government on Friday relaxed norms for compulsory screening of Marathi movies in multiplexes, which can now show them in a time slot between 12 noon to 9 pm, instead of the earlier stipulation of 6 pm to 9 pm.
The decision came after a delegation of multiplex owners and Marathi film producers-directors called on Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde on Friday.
"While the 6 to 9 p.m. slot will be priority, we have decided that if any producers wants any other slot after 12 noon, he will be given it," Tawde told media persons after the meeting.
Any disputes regarding the time slots would be tackled by a four-member committee comprising members of the multiplexes and the Marathi film industry, Tawde added.
Tawde noted that the Marathi film producers have complained that multiplexes had agreed to the norm of screening 124 Marathi movie shows but were exhibiting them at odd hours, mostly in the non-patronised morning slots (before 12 noon).
"We have now decided to allow screening of Marathi movies on any one screen in multiplexes between 12 noon and 9 p.m. depending on the requirements of the producer, and no Marathi movie must be screened in the morning hours," he said.
The government's move announced two days ago had evoked mixed reactions with the Marathi film industry largely welcoming it, but several Bollywood personalities and celebs criticizing it.