Governments has stymied the growth of the film industry by pampering it, offering subsidies and tax benefits recklessly. Though, five drafts of film policies were submitted in the past five years, the government failed in formulating a concrete policy which supports promotion of sensible cinema culture.
As a result, even as the number of films produced per year has crossed the 100 mark, quality is a big casualty. Everything is subsidy-driven.
For instance, there was a mad rush to produce children films as the government announced Rs. 25-lakh subsidy for four films in a year. In the absence of a Minister for Information, things have gone haywire. Film awards and subsidies have become highly controversial.
What needs to be done is immediate implementation of a film policy and extending subsidy and tax benefits to films that do well commercially (running over 100 days) as well as those that secure awards. The government should a construct cultural complex in every district, which among things should have film screening facility to promote meaningful films.
Lack of control
On the other hand, an absence of government control is affecting both small screen and FM radio. It has affected language and culture over the years.
Above all these, there is need for the creation of a social security scheme for all film and television artistes.
B. Suresh, film-maker and convener of Karnataka Television Workers’ Association
(As told to Muralidhara Khajane)