B. Vijayakumar speaks on how he will script a winner for the industry
The Kannada film industry is not exactly rocking the box office. It is beset by problems such as dubbing of other films into Kannada, reluctance of TV channels to buy Kannada films and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) questioning Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce’s (KFCC) decision to restrict number of prints of films in other languages.
The newly elected KFCC president B. Vijayakumar, himself a film producer, shares his views on the industry crisis, but is in no doubt that it can be overcome with “coordination, consultation and confidence creation”.
Q: Being the head of KFCC and the Karnataka Silk Board (KSB), how do you manage responsibilities of both?
I have the support of bureaucrats to manage KSB. The situation in KSB has improved remarkably and it has started making a profit. Now I can concentrate on problems facing by the Kannada film industry.
Of late, KFCC’s decisions are being defied by its subsidiary bodies and very often the apex body is embroiled in controversies. What are your plans to strengthen this umbrella organisation of the film industry?
I have been in the industry for the past 30 years and am well connected with all the sectors. Differences are bound to crop up in an organisation of this kind. I strongly believe in democracy and take every decision after consulting all concerned. KFCC will emerge as a united force of the Kannada film industry in the next few days.
How do you address the issue of dubbing, as a majority of producers are reported to be in favour of it as it is a profitable business?
Of course, there are many who are discreetly supporting it. However, there are others strongly opposing it to protect the language and culture. It is a sensitive and emotional issue and should be sorted out by holding discussions with both factions. Nevertheless, there is no question of compromising Kannadigas’ interests.
Television channels are not too keen on buying Kannada films and this is a major cause of concern for producers. How will you tackle the problem?
This is a major problem; over 150 films are yet to be procured by television channels. I will talk to channel heads.
The Competition Commission of India has questioned the KFCC’s decision to restrict the number of prints of other language films and even fined violators.
KFCC is really in a fix over this. We are consulting legal experts to address the problem. The issue will be resolved without sacrificing interests of the Kannada film industry.
Being a part of the ruling party, how do you help the Kannada film industry?
Many from the Kannada film industry are now part of the government. Jaggesh and Tara are the members of Legislative Council and Mukhyamantri Chandru is Kannada Development Authority Chairperson. All of us bring pressure on the government to extend the subsidy benefits to 100 films, except remakes. Issues pertained to construction of Amritha Bhavana, Dr. Vishnuvardhan Memorial are facing legal hurdles. They will be solved on a priority basis.