Bridge cinema can revive film industry, says Babu

Bridge cinema, which brings good stories alive with popular actors are reviving the film industry, said Rajendra Singh Babu, chairperson of the Karnataka Chitrakala Academy during an interaction at the tenth Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes).

“These movies are not as slow as art films but unlike commercial movies, they do not follow a formula and they do not have too many songs. Bridge cinema tells interesting stories with popular actors,” Babu said.

Irrfan Khan is one such actor who is popular in mainstream films and he also acts in bridge cinema, he said. “We are also doing more such movies. Our Kannada actors also need to come out of their shells so that we can take our films to new horizons,” Babu said.

Kannada actor and politician, Tara said she enjoyed her experience working in bridge cinema with director N R Nanjundegowdas Hebbettu Ramakka. The movie is about an illiterate woman who gets elected to a zilla panchayat and struggles against a male-dominated society to make her voice heard.

Babu also added that for experimental movies to thrive, the right ecosystem has to be created.

“To change this, we have made some proposals to the government. The government will provide subsidy of Rs 50 lakh to anyone who wants to open a small theatre for 200 people. We are also in talks with the government to revamp the licensing system so that it will be easier to open new theatres,” he said.

Sunil Sukthankar, who directed the Marathi movie Astu with Sumitra Bhave, talked about how the Marathi film industry has managed to create distinct movies with fresh scripts and treatment.

“We are very much under the shadow of the Hindi film industry, more so than the south Indian languages. Some of us in the Marathi industry have been working for over two decades consistently without succumbing to those pressures,” Sukthankar said.

As a result, a growing community of filmmakers who want to make meaningful cinema has been created, he said.

“It is still a battle, though. All films dont see the kind of commercial success that Sairat got,” Sukthankar added.

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