KARNATAKA

Kannada film industry shows signs of recovery

Kannada film industry is heaving a sigh of relief as 25 per cent of the 110 films released during 2011 made it big at the box office.

There was, however, a dip in the number of releases compared to last year. As many as 130 films were released in 2010, according to sources in the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC).

While the much-anticipated films such as Shivaraj Kumar-starrer Jogaiah , Puneet Rajkumar-starrer Paramatma and Vijay-starrer Jarasandha failed to live up to the expectations, multi-starrer Hudugaru , Darshan's Sarathi and Sudeep-starrer Kempe Gowda set the cash registers ringing. Sarathi' s success is something unique, as the film was released when Darshan was embroiled in a controversy and was imprisoned on the charge of domestic violence. The film, made with a budget of Rs. 7 crore, is learnt of have collected over Rs. 15 crore.

Hudugaru and Kempe Gowda did not disappoint the audiences despite being remakes. Similarly some small-budget productions such as Kirataka, Johny Mera Naam , Kalla Malla Sulla, Lifeu Ishtene and Vishnuvardhana also succeeded at the box office.

Interestingly, of the 110 film released in 2011, 25 were remakes and some of them did quite well. Though a few new faces were introduced, none of them succeeded in appealing to the audience.

President of the KFCC K.V. Chandrashekar noted that when compared to 2010, the film industry was showing signs of recovery. It was not right to conclude that producers incurred losses based on the number of days films ran. A majority of them recover the investment through theatre releases, audio-video rights and television channel rights, he said.

Producer-distributor K.C.N. Kumar noted that both big-budget and medium-budget films succeeded to some extent in 2011.

Controversies

Controversies haunted the crisis-ridden industry throughout the year. Darshan was arrested on the charge on assaulting his wife and the Kannada Film Producers' Association imposed a ban on actor Nikhita for one year for allegedly creating “disharmony” in Darshan's family. The ban was, however, revoked later.

At one point, Ramya decided to quit the ilm industry following allegations made against her by producer Ganesh over remuneration issue. Ambareesh sorted out the issue.

Actor Pooja Gandhi filed a complaint against distributor Kiran for allegedly making derogatory remarks against her.