Non-visibility of Kannada films at the national and international circuit dominated a panel discussion organised as part of ongoing sixth edition of Bangalore International Film Festival (6BIFFes). Interestingly, the recent release Lucia caught the attention of the panel for its novel promotion method.
Panellists, including film critic Uma Da Cunha, Fulbright Film Scholar Karen Folger Jacobs, eminent film scholar Aruna Vasudev and film festival adviser Santhanam, attributed lack of adequate promotion for the crisis plaguing the Kannada film industry.
Filmmakers, including national award recipient directors Girish Kasarvalli, P. Sheshadri, T.S. Nagabharana, Ramadas Naidu and others, spoke about the problems faced in marketing their films. The model adopted by Pawan Kumar, the maker of Lucia to produce and market the film, was appreciated by Ms. Karen Folger Jacobs and she cited Lucia experiment as a model for other filmmakers. The filmmakers strongly favoured the necessity for a film market as a promotional arm alongside BIFFes.
She said that Kannadigas in the U.S. were not aware of what was happening in their land. It was time to emulate Pawan Kumar’s efforts. He did everything from production to marketing, she said, adding that Anurag Kashyap too had created different audience and orientation.
Mr. Santanam observed that producers who spend huge funds on making the film were not prepared to spend to market their films at national and international circuits. “The relation between producer and director will play an important role in promoting a film”, he said.
However, taking exception to Mr. Santanam’s argument on spending for promotion, Mr. Kasaravalli observed that he would make three more films with the money people spend on promotion. Noting that he did not face the problem of marketing, when he did Ghatashradda, Mr. Kasaravalli attributed that to the film society movement in the country.
Favouring alternative forum for making Kannada films visible, he suggested creation of Kannada organisations network to promote regional films in foreign countries. “Holding a festival of Kannada films at New Delhi once in five years to project trends could help in addressing the issue to some extent,” he said.
Filmmakers, including Vasanth Mokashi, Ramadas Naidu and Nanjunde Gowda, sought the support of Doordarshan to promote regional films and launching IMDb website to make regional films known outside the country.