Some Kannada producers are resenting the changed schedule of the 13th edition of the Bangalore International Film Festival (BIFFes).
The festival, supposed to be held in first week of April, will now be organised between March 24 and 31. The venue of BIFFes’ is the Orion Mall, where all 11 screens will be used for festival-related activities.
However, Sandalwood producers say Kannada films releasing between March 11 and 31 will be affected due to this. Yet to recover from losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, producers say they can’t afford to face further problems.
Following ‘Pogaru’, the next big-ticket Kannada film ready to hit the screens is the Darshan-starrer ‘Roberrt’ on March 11.
Umapathy Srinivas Gowda, the producer of of the film, tells Showtime that they have taken 550 screens in multiplexes across Karnataka. “While some single screens are shut, existing ones have developed some technical issues. We get a proper accounting process only from multiplexes,” says Umapathy.
He also says the lion’s share of their profits comes from PVR Cinemas at the Orion Mall. “We now stand to lose almost Rs one crore for the one week during BIFFes. It will be hard to get the audience back to the theatres once the flow is interrupted,” he says.
Puneeth Rajkumar’s ‘Yuvarathnaa’ is slated to release on April 1. Karthik Gowda, creative executive producer of Hombale Films, who have bankrolled ‘Yuvarathnaa’, says “The producers sat together and spaced out the release-dates in such a way that there are no clashes between films. We also didn’t want a clash of theatres.”
About advancing the dates of the festival, Suneel Puranik, chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy, says the plan was to finish holding BIFFes within the financial year. “We have chalked out our dates in such a way that it will not affect the revenue of Kannada films. The pandemic year has hit us all very hard and everybody is trying to return to normalcy,” he says.
This year’s festival will not have the presence of international delegates. “We will instead have delegates from across the country. Those coming from Kerala and Maharashtra will have to carry a negative Covid-19 certificate,” says Sunil.
He also says that an added feature would be the state and the country in focus. “While Assam is the state in focus, Japan and Russia will be the countries in focus,” he adds.