Film director laments poor audience for good movies

Well-known Film Director P Sheshadri speaks to mediapersons in Manipal on Saturday.

Well-known Film Director P Sheshadri on Saturday lamented that even good films were not drawing audiences to the theatres.

Sheshadri was speaking to mediapersons during the screening of Kannada movie ‘Mookajjiya Kanasugalu’, based on Jnanpith awardee Shivarama Karanth’s popular novel with the same name, in Bharat Cinemas on Saturday.

“Mookajjiya Kanasugalu, released in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and multiplexes across the state on November 29, is being screened to nearly empty halls,” Sheshadri lamented.

Elaborating on the film, the director said that the shooting of the film began in 2017 and was shot mostly in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. A few of the actors also hail from Udupi.

The film was screened at Toronto, Kolkata and Bengaluru International Film Festivals (BIFF).  On the first day of the film’s release, only 19 people had watched the film, he said.

“Even in Kundapur, the film did not make any waves. Though the novel was translated to 20 different languages, there were few takers for the film.”

He said on November 29, over 45 films in different languages, including Bhojpuri language, were released in the state. “It is sad that the directors who make good films have to struggle to get theatres for their films,” rued Sheshadri.

“Our own people do not realise the value of a good product. The films in other languages receive outstanding response in our state, when compared to our films in other states,” he said.

Sheshadri said he was attempting to reach out to colleges and schools to promote the film. He said his next film on Mahatma Gandhi is before the Censor Board. The film is expected to be released in January or February, 2020.

He said that the film was based on Mahatma’s autobiography, ‘My Experiments with Truth’ and Bolwar Mohammed Kunhi’s novel ‘Paapu Gandhi Gandhi Bapu aada Kathe’. The film is produced in English, Kannada and Hindi keeping in view the global and national audience.

Sheshadri shared his plans to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi watch the film ‘Mohandass’ as the government and country is celebrating 150th birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

He is also looking into films in future based on Ramayana and Reverend Ferdinand Kittel. Sheshadri said he
had stopped bothering on whether audience will go to the theatres to watch his films or not.

But he feels bound by a duty and responsibility to make good films. He urged media not to label parallel movies as art films and should be hailed as meaningful cinemas. Art is required for both commercial and parallel movies, he maintained.

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