Away from Sandalwood glitz, alternative Kannada movies get a niche audience

Away from Sandalwood glitz, alternative Kannada movies get a niche audience

Chalanachitra Academy's Belli Cinema, Belli Hejje create new set of movie goers

Away from Sandalwood glitz, alternative Kannada movies get a niche audience

A new class of filmgoers is now emerging, thanks to the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy’s efforts. The Academy, a government body, through its two successful programmes — Belli Cinema and Belli Hejje — has been trying to address the complaint that not enough has been done by the government to encourage quality Kannada movies.

While under the Belli Cinema banner, it is screening trendsetting movies, Belli Hejje is helping film personalities come closer to the audience through dialogue.

This effort, which has spawned an interesting group of viewers for parallel movies in Kannada, comes at a time when creative brains in Kannada film industry are finding it tough to get theatres to screen their movies and true lovers of movies struggle to get an opportunity to view inspirational movies.

No less than 46 Kannada movies, which may strictly not fall in the bracket of commercial but popular and have done well at the box office, have been screened under the Belli Cinema programme.  Movies which have won awards at various levels, and those which are novel-based, get priority for screening.

Rangi Taranga, U Turn, Karva, Godhi Banna…Rama Rama Re, Krishna Leela, Chomana Dudi, Naagara Haavu to name a few, have been screened. Not just that, people involved in making of the movies were available for discussions with the audience post-screening.

Every Saturday, one Kannada movie is screened at Chamundeshwari Studios, Vasanthnagar, at 4 pm. The entry is free. The next on the waiting list is Allama, which has bagged two national awards this year, according to H B Dinesh, secretary of the Academy.

Name any top Kannada film personality, he/she has been the guest at Belli Hejje weekly programme. Girish Kasaravalli, Shivarajkumar, Lakshmi,  Ramesh Aravind, Anant Nag, T S Nagabharana and many more have addressed and interacted with movie lovers.  The programmes are getting audio-visually documented.

Dinesh said, “Commercial movies do get visibility. But it is not so in case of parallel or experimental or offbeat movies. Our effort has been to create a taste for viewing quality movies. The Bengaluru International Film Festival held in February was organised jointly by the Information Department and the Academy. The department’s Facebook page had details of the festival. The Facebook membership increased from 10,000 to 53,000 in just a week. This only showed Bengalureans’ passion for quality movies.”