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Coordinated Theater Attacks Are Hurting ‘Dheepan’s’ Theatrical Release

Coordinated attacks at Canadian theaters during the Tamil-Indian film "Theri" may have been a factor in cinema chains not picking up the Palme d’Or winner.

Jacques Audiard‘s Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan” has had a decent but less-than-great run at theaters in Canada. The indie film was released in select cities in May but its run has been short-lived in the country due to recent incidents at venues.

According to Canadian Now Magazine, two weeks before the film’s release, coordinated attacks happened at Cineplex auditoriums in Scarborough, Brampton and Mississauga when the Tamil-Indian action movie “Theri” was screening. Police said that a “noxious substance” similar to pepper spray was released in the theaters, forcing attendees to evacuate the building. Soon after the they had to cancel the film’s run as a precaution against more attacks.

No information has been released regarding the motives or suspects, but the police are still investigating.

READ MORE: Review: Jacques Audiard’s ‘Dheepan’ Is an Immigrant Tale That Nearly Loses its Way

There was also reports of a screen slashing during the Tamil movie “Puli,” starring the lead in “Theri,” last fall at the cinema chain Coliseum in Scarborough, Canada. 

“Dheepan” stars Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby, Vincent Rottiers, and Marc Zinga, and tells the story of three Sri Lankans who pose as a family so they can start their lives over in France. The topic and recent incidents possibly made it difficult for Cineplex to take a chance on the film and thus not adding it to its schedule.

Movie-goers in Canada who are still interested in watching the film can still screen it at the Regent. “Dheepan” was released on April 8 in the U.K. and May 6 in the U.S.

Watch the trailer below:

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