K.N. Venkatsubba Rao

50 select Kannada films to get Rs. 20 lakh each; other sops likely to follow in the next fiscal

In 2006, the Government deferred announcing policy on Kannada cinema

Move may undo schemes for development of Kannada industry

Bangalore: The State Government’s decision to extend a subsidy of Rs. 20 lakh for 50 select Kannada films and other sops from the next fiscal is likely to undo all the programmes it has launched for the development of Kannada cinema industry since the late 1960s owing to steep decline in the quality of films compounded by the steady increase of “hybrid” and remake films. Sources in the Government and Kannada cinema industry told The Hindu that if the Government did not review its decision on extending the subsidy and the related issues on priority, its purpose of constituting the Kannada Chalanachitra Academy would be defeated. The academy had been entrusted with the responsibility of finalising the long-pending State cinema policy and selecting the films for subsidy and awards. The Government was expected to announce its policy on Kannada cinema in 2006. But it reportedly deferred the announcement with the twin motive of promoting tourism and quality of Kannada cinema.

It had decided to workout a policy to link its subsidy scheme for Kannada cinema with the extent of the exposure of State’s tourist locations in the movies. Its reported move to link subsidy scheme with tourism was apparently due to the encouraging response the State’s tourism got following the success of some Kannada and non-Kannada films that were shot at hitherto unexplored locations.

It had exhibited the video footages of some unexplored and popular tourist locations during the annual film awards presentation ceremony.

The function was telecast live covering 52 countries for drawing the attention of tourists and filmmakers across the globe.

But, later, slowdown in the economy and “collapse” in quality Kannada cinema have reportedly discouraged the Government.

The draft policy has reportedly covered a range of issues such as the need to bring down the escalating rentals of cinemas, cost of production, measures to avoid controversies over the selection of films for annual subsidy and revamping the tax structure.

Contrary to claimed objectives, the Government has its confusion over the pending “distinct and definite” cinema policy.

Its fancy announcements to please a section of Kannada industry on occasions are likely to jeopardise the future of Kannada cinema, according to sources.

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