Let’s not get DIGI with it!

Stiff competition from other language movies, a lack of infrastructure, dubbing issues, theatre availabilities, piracy problems, star wars and small screens keeping the audience entertained at home on weekends, these are just a few of the never-ending list of challenges faced by the Kannada film industry. However, despite all the hurdles and challenges thrown at it, Sandalwood has survived by carving a niche for itself with the best and landmark contributions to Indian films.

There has never been a dearth of talent but for the ‘alien’ challenges and limited audiences, the industry’s survival has become a focal point. All this in the midst of producing over 100 films a year. Even as fresh challenges arise daily, the most recent is the scuffle with digital providers. As a mark of protest, the industry has backed its south Indian body by not releasing any films on March 9. Bengaluru Chronicle reports.

This issue of digital service producers such as UFO and Qube, which has turned serious and been opposed by the South Indian film industry, including Sandalwood is a cause for grave concern.

The reason is the excessive price structure by UFO and Qube. The demand by the film industry is that they should reduce their price by 15 percent, adding a fair demand of a share from advertising revenues earned from film screenings.

Though other south Indian film industries have decided not to release new films from March 2, the Kannada film industry had deferred the decision by a week and now there will be no new releases on March 9. If the issue remains unresolved, there may be no new releases unless alternative arrangements are made.

“The KFCC is making alternative arrangements for the screening. However, the projector and huge investment are a worrying aspect while this is not an issue with a multiplex set-up. The monopoly over single screens had led to exorbitant prices which needs to be stopped,” says KFCC head Sa Ra Govindu.

The decision taken to stop new releases in consultation with film producers, also states that in case the problem is resolved, the respective films announced for release shall hit the screens the week after the films are scheduled for release on March 9 which is March 16.

“We are already facing grave issues and surviving after producing a Kannada movie despite giving the best in quality and that is a big challenge. There are no guaranteed returns. Even film with star heroes barely earn profits. It is only a handful that make real profits. It is the producer who suffers the most,” says Srikanth, a film producer.

Film historian Subramanya feels that because of these multiple challenges, most talented filmmakers are inevitably asked to take up remakes rather than attempt original films.


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