The West Bengal government has made it mandatory for all cinema halls and multiplexes in the state to screen at least one Bengali movie during prime time for a minimum of 120 days a year, reported the Hindustan Times.
Governor KN Tripathi issued a notification in this regard on Friday. Principal Secretary of the State Information and Cultural Affairs Department Vivek Kumar, who signed the notification, said it will be applicable on an immediate basis and the move is aimed to encourage the Bengali film industry.
“Necessary amendments to the West Bengal Cinema (Regulation of Public Exhibitions) Rules, 1956 will be made in due course,” Kumar told PTI, adding that prime time shows are scheduled between noon and 9 pm.
Film director Aniket Chattopadhyay thanked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the initiative. “It is great news,” he said. “Many thanks to the chief minister.”
Eastern India Motion Pictures Association, however, raised concerns that the decision might pose financial difficulties for certain cinema hall owners. “There are certain cinema halls in localities like Burrabazar, Sealdah, Metiabruz, Esplanade and Park Street,” said association chairperson Ratan Saha, according to the Hindustan Times. “There are very few viewers of Bengali movies in these localities.”
He also said the rule cannot be made applicable at multiplexes and single screen halls. “State government should have thought of such aspects before taking this decision,” Saha said.