Caught in the Raees-Kaabil clash, Assamese director seek ULFA chief's help to save his film

The Assamese film, Shakira Ahibo Bokul Tolir Bihuloi, was pulled out of the cinemas across Assam on Wednesday to make way for Raees and Kaabil.

Assamese director of the film Shakira Ahibo Bokul Tolir Bihuloi, Himanshu Prasad Das has written to ULFA (I) leader Paresh Barua after cinema halls decided to withdraw his film amid the Raees-Kaabil clash.

Shakira Ahibo Bokul Tolir Bihuloi was pulled out of the cinemas across Assam on Wednesday by distributors to make way for the two mega releases of Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raees and Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil.

Himanshu Prasad Das, an alumnus of National School of Drama, New Delhi, wrote to Barua on his Facebook page that a vested group was trying to withdraw his film from the cinema halls despite the fact that the film had succeeded in drawing people to the halls.

“Assamese films are struggling and at a time when an Assamese film is being watched by people, it should not be taken off the screens. Shah Rukh Khan can never be above Assamese interest. If the cinemas do not continue screening the film wherever it is running successfully, we will register our protest and that too not in words,” Barua responded to Das’ open letter.

When asked what prompted him to seek ULFA’s help, Das replied that he wanted to send a clear message to every individual in the country about the crisis faced by the regional cinemas.

In an exclusive interview with InUth, Das said, “Other than Assam, every other state in India is allotted a space to screen their regional movies. Take, for instance, Maharashtra, Punjab, or West Bengal. In Assam, it is becoming increasingly difficult for independent directors to screen their films. I am not against the screening of popular Hindi movies but our culture and tradition should also get a platform to be showcased. I only wanted to highlight the crisis faced by the Assamese film industry.”

“The movie was doing well on weekends but collided with the release dates of two huge Bollywood movies. And we cannot bear the losses for screening a movie which will not do well,” a movie distributor, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed.

The film is a blend of entertainment with a social narrative and highlights the travesty of flood and soil erosion in rural India.  It was released in over 40 theatres across the state.