Bangalore, July 27 (IANS) Forthcoming Rajnikanth-starrer 'Kuselan' has finally got the go ahead for its simultaneous release in Karnataka Aug 1, though many groups were against it, alleging that the Tamil superstar had made 'anti-Kannadiga' statements.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), while giving the green signal, advised the film's distributor in the state to release 'Kuselan' with only 10 prints and in 13 theatres in Bangalore.
Some Kannada organisations had been demanding that 'Kuselan' be released in the state only after a seven-week moratorium as Rajnikanth had hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas by supporting Tamil Nadu on a row over a drinking water project in Hogenekkal, on the border between the two states.
The superstar had joined the Tamil film industry in a daylong protest fast in April against Karnataka's objections to the Rs.13.3 billion Hogenekkal project that is expected to benefit about three million people in two Tamil Nadu districts. Karnataka is opposed to the project, saying its share of the Cauvery river waters will be affected.
During the protest, Rajnikanth had apparently blamed Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa for the problem, angering many Kannada activists.
But Kannada actress Jayamala, who is also KFCC chief, said that the issue should not be linked to the release of 'Kuselan', specially since producer K. Balachander was a respected film personality who had contributed to Kannada cinema as well.
'One of our own members is releasing the film, then how can we stop the release? What we have advised is that he release the film following all the restrictions about prints and the number of theatres it can be shown in,' said Jayamala.
Directed by P. Vasu, 'Kuselan' is a remake of Malayalam hit 'Katha Parayumbol' starring Mammooty. It is said to have been made at a cost of Rs.600 million and also stars actresses Nayanthara and Meena. The storyline is about a film star helping an old acquaintance.
According to industry sources, late Kannada actor Raj Kumar will also be shown three times during a song in the movie. The song is apparently about the growth of cinema in south India.
Many of Rajnikanth's friends in the Kannada film industry are reportedly working overtime to ensure the movie has a smooth release in the state.
Niranjan, the film's distributor in Karnataka, said: 'Rajni sir has ensured that the contribution of the Kannada film industry to the film world is to be given adequate importance in a song. K. Balachandar has produced and directed many films, while P. Vasu has directed films of Kannada film legends like Raj Kumar and Vishnuvardhan. We are sure that Kannada film fans will realise this.'
Though Pyramid Saimira has got the distribution rights of the film throughout the country, the rights in Karnataka have been obtained by Niranjan for over Rs.20 million, industry sources said.