Fight for affordable food in Maharashtra multiplexes - more to come?

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New Delhi : The price of food items in multiplexes in Maharashtra have been brought down by around 30 per cent, but the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is not happy with this. Talks are still on, says the political party's general secretary Shalini Thackeray.

Since the last few weeks, MNS, the ultra-nationalist regional outfit, has been fighting against the exorbitant pricing of food at multiplexes in the state.

Asked about this, Shalini told IANS over phone from Mumbai: "The issue was not about taking outside food into theatres. The issue was why people want to take outside food into theatres. It is because the food inside the theatre is very expensive.

"We met the multiplex people. They responded and they were thinking about it. Suddenly, the government came into the picture."

In July, the Maharashtra government had asked multiplexes not to stop movie-goers from taking in outside food.

"The government said people will be allowed to take outside food into multiplexes from August 1. So, it became a different issue. We do not agree with taking outside food into multiplexes unless it is an emergency. For instance, if there is a small child or someone has medical problems.

"We want the price of food products in multiplexes to be brought down. They have been brought down by around 30 per cent. We are not happy with it. We are still talking about getting prices down inside the theatres," she added.

At the same time, MNS doesn't want every food item to be in a particular price range.

"Certain food products should be affordable for everyone. We had talked about food items like popcorn, samosas, water and some beverages," said Shalini, also a film producer.

She is passionate about politics, but her love for cinema is no less. She is now backing Tabrez Noorani's directorial "Love Sonia".

"Yes, I am in politics... but I also have an interest in films. If we can convey the right messages through films, it can be a very powerful medium. It doesn't always have to be a dark film. I look at it as an extension of my work in politics," she said.

"'Love Sonia' is a story of courage and struggles of a 17-year-old girl who is the hero of my film. The premise of the film is child trafficking which is a global issue, but it's her story," she added.

Presented by Samraaj Talkies in association with India Take One Productions, Cinemantra Entertainment, Media Dynasty Consulting Group and Prime Focus Group, the film is slated to release on September 14.

Samraaj Talkies was launched this year under her production house Cinemantra Entertainment.

What type of movies is she planning to support?

"I have two Marathi films lined up. One is under production. That again is a very important issue-based film. It is women-oriented. Actresses Sagarika Ghatge and Vidya Malvade are in that film. We are also working on two Hindi films. Most of my projects will be women-centric," said Shalini, who likes to stand up for women and children.

Shalini is a Punjabi and was born in Uttar Pradesh. Anything for that region?

"My Hindi film is going to be based in Uttar Pradesh and one of my films will be in Marathi and Kannada. Films don't have boundaries. Look at 'Love Sonia'. It travelled from Maharashtra to Hong Kong and Los Angeles," she said.

(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at