Fete complex, welfare fund for artistes

As the city hosts the 17th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) from Friday, the major proposals to set up a permanent festival complex in the State capital and form a welfare fund for indigent artistes remain in cold storage.

The valedictory function of the 15th edition saw the announcements for the complex and the welfare fund. The previous Left Democratic Front government had allocated Rs.50 lakh for the preliminary work on the complex and completed the legislative formalities for floating the fund.

The permanent complex has been seen as a solution to the mounting expenses in hiring private theatres for screening and easing the woes of delegates in reaching the theatres in time.

Exhibitors diffident

The diffidence of the exhibitors in renting out theatres for the festival when commercial blockbusters run to packed houses has been one of the prime reasons for the proposal.

The former Chalachitra Academy Chairman K.R. Mohanan and his team had proposed to convert the Tagore Theatre into a cultural complex and permanent venue of the IFFK on the lines of the multiplex Inox in Goa, where the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is held.

The proposal was to construct a multiplex with different seating capacities, an amphitheatre for staging plays and other functions, a cafeteria, a common area for organising interactive sessions and meetings and rooms for the delegates.

The building can be utilised for holding other major events too.

The academy has offered various options such as aligning with the Kerala State Film Development Corporation or taking the build-operate-transfer route for executing the proposal.

Proposals accepted

The government had accepted the proposal and made a budgetary allocation of Rs.50 lakh to meet the initial expenses.

An expert committee was constituted for exploring the feasibility of the proposal. But the proposal remains in cold storage.

The proposal for constituting the Kerala Cultural Activists Welfare Fund has been seen as a source of relief to one lakh artistes who have been battling for survival. Despite having a budgetary allocation of Rs. 2 crore and a corpus of Rs.1.5 crore, the fund has not yet become operational.

Funding

A perennial source of funding was also worked out.

After considerable dithering, the UDF government appointed G. Suresh Kumar chairman of the fund and 8,000 people submitted applications for the monthly pension and other welfare schemes expected to take off under its aegis.

Both proposals remain in limbo and no serious steps have been initiated for making them a reality.

The alleged inaction has drawn the flak of the film industry and the artistes who were looking forward to the government for a livelihood.


  • LDF had allotted Rs.50 lakh for preliminary work

  • Industry alleges inaction on part of government


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