Operation 021 team speaks up against Capri, Bambino and Dreamland

Published: October 13, 2014
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The movie was jeered off the screens of three of Pakistan’s most popular single-screen cinemas: Bambino & Capri in Karachi and Dreamland in Multan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

The movie was jeered off the screens of three of Pakistan’s most popular single-screen cinemas: Bambino & Capri in Karachi and Dreamland in Multan. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

KARACHI: Operation 021 was a movie which was expected to open to cheers and supposed to have a long run at local cinemas but unfortunately that was not the case for some cinemas. The movie was jeered off screens at three of Pakistan’s most popular single-screen cinemas: Bambino, Capri in Karachi and Dreamland in Multan.

The producers of the film, Azaan Sami Khan, Zeba Bakhtiar, and Jami all gathered at the Karachi Press Club to address the “injustice” meted out to them by these cinema owners.

“If people say that our film is not up to the mark then how come it’s doing brilliant business in other cinemas across the country,” asked Jami, the c0-director of the film.

“For the film industry to develop we need to adopt the correct and proper method of doing things. If producers wanted to take down our film they should’ve informed us or the distributors first and gradually take down the film rather than just throwing it out,” he added.

Capri, Bambino and Dreamland had reportedly taken down the spy-thriller just 25 minutes into the film. The cinemas claimed that the audiences resorted to throwing bottles at the screen.

Azaan Sami Khan, who is the youngest producer from Pakistan to make a feature-length film, said that such events take us a step back rather than forward, and force artistes and producers to look for work elsewhere.

“Both my mother and father formed successful careers in India and I could have chosen that path too. We talk about putting Pakistani cinema on the global map but such events won’t help our cause,” exclaimed Khan.

He added that the film’s language was not a factor that contributed to the response it received in these cinemas.

Operation 021 was in Urdu, Pashto, Dari and English. To say it was language that contributed to all of this would be wrong and would open up another debate. As all of these are languages of Pakistan,” said Khan.

In telephonic conversation at the press conference, the film’s lead actor Shaan announced that the film has grossed around Rs57.5 million in its first week. However, the distributor said the film had garnered Rs32.5 million in its first week.

Muhammad Rizwan, the assistant manager of Distribution Club, the distributors of Operation 021, claimed that the cinema owners had taken down the film without informing the producers or the distributors.

“The events at Capri, Bambino and Dreamland have not only damaged the film business but our reputation as a distribution company; and therefore not only will we be taking legal action against these cinema owners but we will also stop providing films to these cinemas,” said Rizwan.

According to Rizwan, “After the riots began at Bambino, Capri decided to take down the film as they did not want to put their cinema in danger of being damaged once again.”

Distributor was informed

Adeel Siddiqui, the owner of Bambino though rejected accusations of bias towards Indian films. “If I did not want to screen Pakistani films, I would have even removed Na Maloom Afraad from Bambino but that film is still running in there.”

Siddiqui further clarified that officials of the Distribution Club were informed when the film was being taken off the screens.

“They were informed because we are bound to inform the distributors. I don’t know why they are denying it,” he said. “We are exhibitors (cinema owners) and share a long-term relationship with distributors – we keep playing their films throughout the year. I would never do anything that hampers that relationship.”

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Afghan Maihan
    Oct 13, 2014 - 10:36PM

    Dari/Persian is not an official language in Pakistan and it is mainly spoken by the Afghans.

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  • Adnan
    Oct 13, 2014 - 10:51PM

    It was just in 3 cinemas which don’t represent the rest of the cinemas in the country. Although it’s a bit crazy how people acted but this issue is being blown out of proportion. Operation 21 is doing tremendously and I’ve only just got the ticket for this wednesday! It’s crazy how all shows are going houseful but I am happy that a pure Pakistani production (except the music by Spanish artist, I might be wrong) is doing so well! However we do need more cinemas because I wanted to watch it on Eid days. Producers of O21 must teach a lesson to these cinemas and boycott them by not providing their films to them in the future.

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  • AfghanRebuttal
    Oct 14, 2014 - 12:11AM

    Dari is spoken in Pakistan widely so mind your own business.

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  • hain?
    Oct 14, 2014 - 12:34AM

    Not really @AfghanRebuttal:

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  • Saad Durrani
    Oct 14, 2014 - 1:29AM

    Nobody goes into a cinema to read the subtitles of a movie. Operation 021 has a language barrier.

    @AfghanRebuttal: Spoken is different! Many speak Arabic in Pakistan, but it is still not the official language of Pakistan.

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  • afghan koos
    Oct 14, 2014 - 5:32AM

    Both dari and farsi are widely spoken in Pakistan. I dont know what Afghan is talking about.

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  • Shenaniganman
    Oct 14, 2014 - 6:52AM

    Or Capri and Bambino could sue the film company for selling them a potentially dangerous, faulty product.

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  • Amna
    Oct 14, 2014 - 12:17PM

    All over the world, movies are made in different languages with sub titles. Ive watched french, japanese and persian movies with subtitles and it is always a good experience. I don’t know what is our problem as a nation, anything new or different is completely unacceptable. We dont want to use even 5% of our brain in reading or understanding a movie. Very sad indeed!

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  • Amna
    Oct 14, 2014 - 12:17PM

    All over the world, movies are made in different languages with sub titles. Ive watched french, japanese and persian movies with subtitles and it is always a good experience. I don’t know what is our problem as a nation, anything new or different is completely unacceptable. We dont want to use even 5% of our brain in reading or understanding a movie. Very sad indeed!

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  • tauseef rasheed
    Oct 14, 2014 - 1:42PM

    there should be action against the cinema owners and they must be penalized for their irresponsible actions which has brought bad name to one of the finest film made in Pakistan Industry. It should not happen to Pakistani movies which are made after lot of struggle and when Pakistani cinema is reviving and Pakistanis are going back to cinema along with their families to watch these nice movies.

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  • AV
    Oct 14, 2014 - 3:25PM

    Subtitles? You need to be educated to read subtitles & we are talking about Pakistan :[

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  • Saad Durrani
    Oct 14, 2014 - 6:03PM

    @Amna:
    Bibi, French movies are made for the French people, and likewise for the other territories. They put subtitles on the movie for the international audience. When you enter a Pakistani cinema to see a Pakistani movie made for Pakistani audiences by Pakistani producers, you expect languages of Pakistan to be used in them adequately and you expect a plot revolving around Pakistan. Zinda Bhaag had loads of Punjabi in it (and it had subtitles), but it was understandable.

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  • ponka
    Oct 14, 2014 - 6:50PM

    @hain?:
    Its spoken amongst Hazaras all over Pakistan where ever they reside.

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  • syedpk
    Oct 14, 2014 - 11:26PM

    @Saad durrani,

    Not exactly, whenever theres a serious film shot foreign location even hollywood shows local language, for example da vinci code has dialogues in french, series last resort and homeland has dialogues in urdu, vertical limit has also some dialogues in urdu. The thing is if u want masallah movie go for the ones that are masallas, not for the ones that are serious one.

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  • FilmBuffer
    Oct 23, 2014 - 1:33PM

    First time I have ever seen film makers argue with the audience and the cinemas publicly. Seems like sour grapes don’t make good wine. The main problem I had was not just the subtitles which were bad anyway regardless of the languages involved, and also that the sound itself was bad making the actors seem like they are mumbling, making the film hard to follow. Not good technique basically, and you can’t argue about that.

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