Following a ban,the Punjabi film was pulled out of cinemas
Movie goers were in for a rude shock when Punjabi film Sadda Haq (Our Right) was subjected to a ban in the city following orders from the Chandigarh Deputy Commissioners office. Produced by Dinesh Sood and Kuljinder Singh Sidhu and directed by Mandeep Benipal,this OXL Film production has already been banned in Punjab,Haryana,Delhi,and Jammu & Kashmir.
On the night of April 4,cinemas were directed to remove all shows of Sadda Haq. The film was slated for a release on April 5. We got a call at night from the SHO of our local police station to stop the screening with immediate effect. An official statement was issued by the Deputy Commissioners office at 10 this morning to confirm the same, said G S Brar,manager at Fun Cinemas,Manimajra. Fun Cinemas had held a special screening of the film on Thursday evening.
According to Brar,the DC has the authority to stop the screening of any film in the city. It is in our terms and conditions and other agreements. The DC can ban any film anytime. We have to furnish the DC office with a brief of the films story 48 hours prior to its release in order to rule out any violations or law-and-order situations that can arise out of the screening, he said.
While there were no advance bookings,Fun Cinemas had to stop all three shows of the film. Because there is no screening,we dont need police protection, added Brar.
Shows were cancelled across the city four in Piccadily Square,three in Big Cinemas,Zirakpur,and Fame Shalimar in Panchkula,and one show each at DT Cinemas in IT Park,PVR Centra and Waves Cinemas in Industrial Area. Among these,Piccadily and DT Cinemas had advance bookings and were witness to a sizeable crowd of cinegoers in the morning. According to cinema managers,the film had already created quite a buzz after the controversy,and hence,the shows would have gone houseful had it been released.
Controversy works in the favour of a film. It is a crowd-puller. Yes,cancelling shows at the last minute is a loss. But an order is an order, said a cinema manager.
DT Cinemas manager Amit Singh too had to return crowds who had turned up to watch the film. We had advance bookings and we had to refund the money, he said.
DC Mohammad Shayin said it was a conscious decision to ban the film in Chandigarh in order to avoid any untoward incident. The film could have caused a law-and-order problem and disturb the communal harmony,hence the ban, he added.