Who loves Nepali movies? Big Cinema doesn’t!

Editor’s Note: Part of the Big Cinema issue was discussed in short previously, in the post titled – Does Nepal need Indian Investment ? The post dealt with Indian investment in Nepal and had a wider scope than Big Cinemas alone. Raunak Niroula has done a more detailed analysis on their decision against Nepali movie and shesds light on how much our own theaters are in waters when treating Nepali cinemas and their viewers. This article is one of the parts of a “Who loves Nepali Movies?” article series.

We started this series to analyze if the theaters are treating Nepali movies fairly. Let’s start with the latest incident involving Big Cinema, a theater operating on Indian investment.

Big Cinemas, a division of Reliance Media Works Limited (formerly known as Adlabs Films Limited) and a member of Reliance ADA Group is India’s largest cinema chain with over 515 theaters spread across India, US, Malaysia, UK, Netherlands and other countries all over the world. The main aim of Reliance is to spread Big Cinemas multiplex and Indian movies all over the world. It has been a few months that Reliance has launched Big Cinemas in Nepal at NLIC City Centre – a new, luxurious shopping mall at Kamalpokhari, Kathmandu.

The news about Big Cinemas not screening Nepali movies is widely being talked about in Nepali media. Being located in Nepal, their decision against Nepali movie industry is viewed as an insult to the Nepali movie industry and the Nepali people as a whole. In response, Nepali movie fans have created a Facebook group titled “Say No To Big Cinemas In Nepal Because They Don’t Screen Nepali Movies”. The film makers, film producers, producer association and film development board have also voiced their concern in this issue. This issue is also viewed as an example of encroachment of Indian culture to dominate Nepali culture and arts.

Various news outlets had previously announced that Big Cinemas was going to screen MaHa jodi’s latest Nepali movie – Haasi Deu Ek Phera . Movie was supposed to be released on Friday (December, 3) and on the day prior to the release date, Thursday (2nd December), Big Cinemas announced their decision not to screen any Nepali movies in the theater. The reason behind the announcement was quoted to be the quality of Nepali movie not being good enough for theater.

I remember the movie Pahilo Pahilo Maya, which was released during the time of the launch of Big Cinemas in Nepal and they were also supposed to screen this movie. But later, they decided not to show the movie. The producer, Pradip K Udaya, cited unavailability of projector as the reason behind not screening this movie.

Accusation that Nepali films are of low quality and not fit for the Big Cinemas screen has become a sensitive issue. Nepali public and Nepali film makers have take the decision of Big Cinemas as an insult our film industry. If we ask to any film makers or people engaged in this industry, what they think of the Big Cinema issue, everyone will be equivocal to say that Big Cinemas is insulting our movies and Nepali film viewers. To a certain level it is true too. But it is half half truth!

Next Part – Do Nepali theaters love Nepali Movies? (coming soon)

By – Raunak and Anand

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