'Kannada film industry should get greater subsidy'

'Kannada film industry should get greater subsidy'

S V Rajendra Singh Babu, chairperson of the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy, said rental system was killing the film industry set-up.

Addressing a workshop on the topic ‘Current Issues and Challenges faced by Kannada Cinema’, he said that the subsidy is currently Rs 10 lakh, but should be increased. “Uttar Pradesh offers Rs two crore, while Maharashtra gives a subsidy of Rs 40 lakh, in contrast,” he said. “The income from Karnataka to other movie industries is around Rs 400 crore, but the Kannada movies do not receive even one per cent, as about 30 lakh people in Karnataka do not watch movies,” he explained.

The chairperson added that satellite rights were other areas of concern that needed to be addressed immediately.

Dr Gururaj Kidiyur, the dean (academics) of the T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) – who delivered a lecture on the research conducted to access the current problems faced by Kannada cinema and to suggest the consumer behaviour towards Kannada cinema – said that the Kannada movie viewers were drastically reducing in number owing to a fall in quality and originality in the films. “The 80 year old Kannada film industry is the fifth largest in terms of moviemaking. Of the movies presented, 20 to 30 are remade, which also lack good story lines,” he said.

With reference to the study made, he said that the responses of 514 people had been taken as samples in the survey made across Bengaluru (111), Mysuru (91) and Hubbali (100). “There are only 950 theatres across Karnataka, as against the 2,800 in Andhra Pradesh, 1,0546 in Tamil Nadu and 1,015 in Kerala. To make matters worse, what are considered good theatres do not show Kannada movies while a majority of the rest are not maintained well,” he expressed dissatisfaction, Asserting that the customers in the present age are used to better facilities, the professor said that the audience have better alternatives in the form of multiplexes.

“As per the survey conducted, movies attract younger crowd, as 43 per cent of the viewers fall into the age group of 16-25 years. Among the genres, comedy and action are the most preferred by the audience, followed by family drama and suspense,” he explained.

“The Kannada film-watcher has the perception that the Kannada movies made in the 1970s and 1980s are of much better quality as compared to those made currently. The Kannada-speaking people watch lesser Kannada movies when compared to the number of movie-watchers among Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam people,” he added.

Dr Kidiyur suggested that the government should go for long-term and short-term rectifications in order to fundamentally strengthen the industry and also to address the immediate concerns. He also opined that the government needs to create financial resources to support the industry. “Additional cess should be charged, and subsidy should also be increased. Incentives for novel-based movies, and funds for film festivals should be increased,” he added.

The professor said that revival of Karnataka Film Development Corporation is the need of the hour and measures should be taken to promote Kannada movies outside the State. “The government should build small theatres. It should also set up film institutions and a separate ministry for cinematography. A sustainable investor is also necessary,” he listed out. Dr Kidiyur also advised the film industry, on the other hand, to have an originality in its movie stories.

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