For Dasara film fest, exhibitors demand digital prints

 Dasara Films Sub-Committee this year has a set of posers to answer, if it wants to take the flick uninterrupted to masses.

In a recent meeting, Mysore Film Exhibitors Association has put forth a list of demands to be fulfilled to continue with the regular feature during Nada Habba every year. Prominent among them being — films in digital format, rather than prints (reel) as the latter has been relegated to the pages of history with most theatres equipped with digital screening technology.

A prominent exhibitor who didn’t wished to be named said: “Digital prints is a must as screening the films in reel format is too risky. As most films belonging to the 80s and 90s are being shown during the festival, prints are not in good condition. There are instances of films in reel format erased in most parts.

A theatre where in an all time hit movie was screened last year had to taste the wrath of cinelovers when the screen went black 20 minutes before the interval itself. The angry mob ransacked the premises damaging the property. More than that, even if projectors are available, not all are in good condition as they are not in use.

The other demands include hike in ticket fare and bearing electricity expenditure for the particular show. The fare during the fest for balcony is Rs 10 and for lower class it is Rs five. Citing the example of previous year, the exhibitor said: “We had agreed to screen movies in four shows in two theatres for a week taking the total to 56 shows (28 in each).

The total number of audiences comprising both the theatres was less than 1,500. The fee will not make up for even screening charges. The related panel also owes screening charges of two theatres from two years, he alleged. Following this the exhibitors are ready to screen the movie at the discounted less than Rs 10 of existing fare.

The exhibitor said, they have agreed to screen the films in 10 theatres during morning shows.

M R Rajaram a known exhibitor of the city told Deccan Herald, they have also asked the organisers to guarantee the audience when the state is reeling under Cauvery agitation, besides drought that could dither most rural people who also form the chunk of audience in city theatres from watching a movie. More than that, when melange of events are organised with free entry, is film festival a necessity?, Rajaram questioned.

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