Another dubbed film released

Another dubbed film released

This week’s release Jagamalla— Viswasam in Tamil — is only the seventh Kannada-dubbed feature film in 56 years.

‘Jagamalla’, the Kannada-dubbed version of Tamil action thriller ‘Viswasam’ was released on Friday, two months after its original came out.

'Jagamalla’, the Kannada-dubbed version of Tamil film ‘Viswasam,’ was released on Friday, marking the seventh such release since last year.

The film industry had observed an unofficial ban on the dubbing of feature films into Kannada for about 56 years.

The intention behind the consensus was to encourage original films in Kannada. A court ruling has now put an end to the ban.

Members of Kannada Grahakara Koota, a consumers’ forum, filed a complaint with the Competition Commission of India in 2012 against the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), and a host of other film and television guilds in Karnataka.

Ganesh Chetan, convenor of Kannada Grahakara Koota, says, “This ban had been on from 1962. We filed a complaint as it is any consumer’s right to be able to watch what they want. The case went on for a few years and in 2015, the CCI issued an order.”

In 2017, G. Krishnamurthy filed a complaint ahead of the release of ‘Sathyadev IPS’ (dubbed version of Tamil film ‘Yennai Arindhal’). This was followed by an order by the CCI in 2018, after which things have been smoother for dubbed films.

“There are two to three crore Kannadigas who know no language other than Kannada. They were being denied access to entertainment because people in Gandhinagar were deciding what people should watch,” says Chetan.

Although dubbed films were banned, Kannada remakes of films from other languages were common. Only the voice track is changed in a dubbed film, while the entire film is reshot for a remake.

“Though the reasons for the ban were put forth as language and culture, the real reasons were economic,” he says, adding that it had curbed competition.

Vasanth Shetty, member of Kannada Grahakara Koota, says a decade of work has gone into getting the unofficial band lifted.

“We see dubbing as a big instrument to make possible a lot of language registers in Kannada. As no law bans dubbing anywhere, our group got together to have it removed,” he says.

Investors in Mumbai and elsewhere believed the ban was official and hence did not make Kannada versions of their films.

“This is when Harivu Creations was created in 2017 to roll out dubbed projects and kickstart the change in the industry,” says Shetty.

Things are smoother now, says Chetan.

“If the industry feels it is too small to face competition, it has to get a ban enforced legally, instead of threatening dubbing artistes and filmmakers,” he says.

Recent dubbed releases include ‘Commando’ and ‘Kirik Love Story’.

The market for dubbed films is nascent, say industry insiders.

Dubbed films enjoy less than 1 per cent of the total market share in Karnataka, says Tony A Raj, proprietor of Horizon Studio, which is distributing ‘Jagamalla’.

“We are waiting for the weekend to see how it goes,” he says.

It would have helped had the dubbed version been released along with the original ‘Viswasam’ in January, says Raj.

“There was a delay from the principal production house,” he says.

The industry does not resist dubbed films any more, he reckons, as he plans to release more dubbed films. 

He feels the potential is high for dubbed films in Karnataka. His production house plans to dub and release Tamil film ‘Sindhubaadh’ next.


Ajith starrer

- ’Jagamalla’ has released in 76 single screens and 1 multiplex (in Mangaluru) across the state.

- The film is running at two standalone cinemas in Gandhinagar, Bengaluru: Abhinaya (2 shows) and Anupama (1 show).

Seven releases so far

After the unofficial ban was lifted, seven dubbed films have been released in Karnataka: ‘Naanu Nanna Preethi’, ‘Sathyadev IPS’, ‘Vega Mattu Udvega 8’, ‘Beera’, ‘Commando’, ‘Kirik Love Story’ and now ‘Jagamalla’.

‘Vega Mattu Udvega’ was the Kannada-dubbed version of the Hollywood film ‘Fast and Furious 8.’

Telugu film ‘Rangasthalam’ is scheduled for release on March 21.

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