Abhay Simha says directors faced several constraints

There are several factors related to the market and also the culture that prevents a film director to come out with the film he wants,” said young film director Abhay Simha.

Speaking on “Effects of Cinema on Society” here on Friday, Mr. Simha said a film director had to consider several factors such as the views of financers, availability of theatres, and the need for publicity in order to generate good returns for the amount spent on the film.

“When cinema becomes a commodity, then it has to be sold. It becomes inevitable,” Mr. Simha said. This constrained the film director from bringing out the movie the way he wants, he said. About Kannada films, Mr. Simha said there were not many theatres to screen them. Of the 1,800 theatres in the State, there were hardly 500 theatres that screened Kannada films. On an average two new Kannada films were released every week. Mr. Simha said they had to struggle to get a slot for the screening of films at these theatres.

A few people do have a say in the screening of films in these theatres, he said. The presentation by Mr. Simha, the director of award winning children’s film Gubbachigalu, was a part of the seminar on “Media – Ethics and Practices” held at the Besant Women’s College.

Mr. Simha said viewers could not expect films to preach morals. A film reflected a director’s view of a story. Moreover, presentation of films changed with the changes in society. “Cinema will portray society as it is.” Mr. Simha said there was not much scope for documentary films. “Unlike in the western countries, we do not get financial support from the State for producing such films,” he said and added that there were not many places where documentary films could be screened.

Press Council of India Member Sebastian Paul said people had every right to evaluate whether media was functioning properly or not.

Speaking on “Television Rating War-threats and quality risks”, Mr. Paul said people had the constitutional right to know what was happening around them.

The media had come forward to discharge that function and to provide information to the public. Hence, the people had the right to evaluate the functioning of the media.

Mr. Paul said that television viewer ratings played an important role in the broadcast media. As much as Rs. 32,000 crore was being spent per annum on advertisements, that depended on the ratings of the television channel. But there were doubts about these ratings as there had been allegations of tampering.

News broadcaster NDTV had filed a suit in New York against the firms that measure the ratings, he said.

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