Art movies find their way to theatre

Four film makers evolve cooperative strategy to reach people


Now, four film makers of award winning movies, have joined together to screen their movies in a theatre for a week from October 30. They have evolved their own method of sharing the burden and the profits, if any. A cooperative movement at that!

Artha and Gubbachchigalu, both produced by B Suresh, Daatu directed by Shivarudraiah and Umashankar’s Banada Neralu will be screened at Kailash theatre in Gandhinagar.

It is said that for the first time in Karnataka such an experiment is being made to promote alternate movies. The makers of these movies have made arrangements for the screening under the banner of Samudaya, a theatre troupe. The four movies will be screened on all seven days.

“The public often comment that a few directors make films only for awards and not for public viewing. We wanted to break that. Let’s see how far this experiment goes,” said Shivarudraiah. His movie Daatu, based on a short story by Ashwath, won the state award and selected for Indian panorama too.

In the 1970s films like Kaadu, based on Masti Venkatesh Iyengar’s novel and Samskara, based on Ananthamurthy’s novel, received good response from the public when they were screened in theatres. “Unless we make an effort to take the movies to the masses we will not get the public response. This experiment may inspire other film makers too in the coming days,” he said.

Umashankar’s Banada Neralu won the state award in 2008. The movie was released in select areas of north Karnataka, where it was shot. “It is a highly expensive proposition to release a movie in Bangalore. Theatre rent itself is high. If there is no response from the public, producers will lose investment too. But now, we plan to share the investment and whatever profit we get,” he said.

One week’s theatre rent alone costs around Rs 75,000. Producers of these movies have contributed equally to pay the rent and make arrangements for publicity of the show. Byregowda, one of the producers of Daatu, said he was expecting a total investment of about Rs 1.6 lakh, including rent and publicity materials. Each producer has invested Rs 40,000.

“If at all the theatre runs to a packed house on all the seven days we will earn about Rs 3 lakh, which will be shared amongst us. Otherwise we will lose some portion of investment itself. Beauty of this experiment is that even if the public response is minimal, burden on each individual will not be high,” he said. The producers and directors of these movies are approaching their friends and well-wishers to watch the movies in the festival.

The organisers are also contemplating an interactive session with the public on the movies screened.

Return on investment

On an average, the art movie makers invest around Rs 30-40 lakh on a movie. Since the movies do not run in theatres, their main source of income is TV rights and film festivals.

According B Suresh, director of Artha and producer of Gubbachchigalu, “Those who know how to swim in the field do not suffer losses by making art movies.”

He said such movies are sold to many TV channels through the film festival circuit. Besides, in Karnataka, these movies also get subsidy of Rs 10 lakh.

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