Entertainment channels which have almost stopped acquiring rights for films or have become more selective in acquiring rights have turned to “mini-films” to fill the slots.

Zee Kannada, which recently telecast Pyscho Jayashankar — a mini-film on convict Jaishankar, who escaped from Bangalore Central Prison recently and was arrested on August 31. “This is a completely different concept. It is not a tele-film,” said Gautam Machaiah, the Southern Regional Head of Zee TV.

“We will initially produce mini-films with a budget of Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 lakh and will increase the allocation based on the success,” the told The Hindu.

Mr. Machaiah said financial constraints forced ZTV to produce mini-films, as it could not meet the “exorbitant” rates demanded for purchasing rights of Kannada films. It had become difficult to recover the cost due to low TRP rates. “It is an experiment, we have to wait and watch,” he said.

Zee TV, which was running a programme called Crime Files, produced Psycho Jayashankar,directed by Vinod Dhondale, to create awareness through the film, said Vinod Srinivas in-charge of the mini-film project. “We will produce sensible movies and telecast them once a week,” he said.

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