Bringing home movies free and fair

Rooftop cinema

Bringing home movies free and fair

 If you felt that watching a film at multiplexes would only drill a hole in your pocket, then here is a cheaper option to it.

The terrace of a house in City has been transformed into a mini theatre with seating arrangements for 100 people where movies are screened free of cost. The idea is to draw more people to watch art house, award-winning Kannada movies.

The house of Srinath Vasistha, an artiste and film maker at Vijayanagar, sees over 80 avid cineastes assemble every second and fourth Saturdays of the month. A 9x12-foot screen with a sound system, a shamiyana and plastic chairs and a projector are all it takes to convert the small area into a mini amphitheatre here.

Vasistha, in whose house the activity takes place, said it was after understanding that the multiplex culture would not bring enough attention to Kannada movies that an effort of this sort began. “When my film was released in one of the multiplexes, I realised that there were very few viewers,” he said.

“We call it ‘Maasada Cinema’ as it has two meanings,” Vasistha said that explaining that while it meant monthly cinema, it also translated to the cinema that does not die. Enthusiasts from across the City travel here to watch their favourite movies.”

He also said it was also a matter of people shelling out quite a lot on watching movies at a high-end theatre that stopped them from it. “Each time a family has to go out for a film, they have to keep aside at least Rs 2,000 which cannot be afforded by many,” he said, explaining that it was because of this that they began screening it free of cost.

It has been over three years that this activity that began on Rajyotsava Day has grown into a bi-monthly affair that is run under Kala Vedike Trust. “Initially we began with discourse by experts. Then we realised that screening of movies would be even more interesting,” said Gundu Rao G K, Vasistha’s father.

The veteran also felt that it would at least keep the taste for ‘quality art’ alive in the minds of youth. “In the present-day cinema, there is neither good acting, good language nor a storyline that gives food for thought,” he said, adding that “it is indeed full of vulgarity and cannot be watched with family members around.”

Rao explained that by screening old Kannada movies, not only did it serve the purpose of entertainment but would also got recognition the artistes deserved in the true sense. Recalling how it began, Vasistha said they would have to shell out a minimum of Rs 3,000 every time they had to project a movie.

“Initially, it was pretty tough but later we could find a way out.” Presently, he gets DVDs of movies from film-makers who volunteer to do so. “I get the chairs and screen from my friend Pradeep who runs a shop of his own. I manage with it all,” he added.

After the screening, either the film maker or artistes are invited for a talk session with the audience.

“A lot of criticism as well as discussion comes out of this,” Vasistha explained. Visitors are expected to fill in their name, contact number and e-mail ID through which they would be updated about the next movie that would be screened.

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