Filmmakers fear piracy monster in new media

Director Champa Shetty takes a selfie with filmmakers at 11th Bengaluru International Film Festival in the city on Wednesday. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

The new media or over the top (OTT) platform may be a rage among viewers, but it is a worry for filmmakers who fear the piracy monster will eat up their work. At a press conference on the sidelines of the 11th Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), a few Kannada filmmakers expressed this concern.

Speaking at the event, Kannada film director Mansore explained how his recent offering ‘Nathicharami’ was the victim of piracy mafia online. “I was shocked to see the original print being uploaded. Later, I deactivated the link. The same print was uploaded nearly 5-6 times. Deactivating the link for me was a herculean and time-consuming task, but the piracy gang do their job in minutes,” he said, adding that the copy is still available on YouTube. Mansore was also distressed to see the movie getting more than one lakh views before the link was disabled. He said, “When the screening is done for free, the movie hall fills up. But if we charge for the movie, the response is poor. I don’t know when the audience will develop a sense of responsibility.”

Another Kannada film director Dayal Padmanabhan opined that the concept of art movies or experimental movies exist only in Kannada. Citing ‘To Let’, the first experimental movie in Tamil, Dayal said, “The audience should develop a film culture. We understand the pain of the director who is two movies old, but we should wait for the acceptance and also concentrate on the content, which is the core aspect of the movie.” Dayal also added that the piracy issue is an on-going row, which is destroying decades of hard work of movie makers.

Further, there was also a debate on experimental cinemas that are to be popularised. Director Sheshadri opined that the nomenclature should be only ‘Good or Bad Cinema’ and not brand festival movies as art cinema.

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