KERALA

And now a story bank for Malayalam cinema

N.J. Nair



500 persons narrate themes before panel formed by Film Producers Association

Association to produce medium budget films with young talents



THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Dearth of productive themes would soon become a thing of the past in Malayalam cinema. The industry is likely to turn active with vivacious themes and young talent. An initiative of a host of producers to create a talent pool and story bank has elicited an encouraging response.

Already 1,300 young writers have come forward with their ideas and almost 500 persons have narrated their themes to a panel of experts constituted by the Film Producers Association. The sittings organised by the associations in the capital and Kochi have proved to be fruitful and now sessions are being held in Kozhikode too.

According to association president G. Suresh Kumar, “this is the only option left before the industry to tide over the problems thrown up by economic slowdown and the poor turnout in cinema houses. Audience are demanding films with novel themes. The only relief for the industry reeling under a crisis is the slight increase in the returns from selling satellite rights. The steep rise in the remuneration of artistes and technicians and production cost are driving the industry to a precipice. Any delay in making a creative intervention would bring the industry to a halt and it was felt that young talent alone can liven up the industry.”

Generally writers are wary of narrating their story ideas to producers for the fear of being plagiarised. The association formed a panel and entered into a pact with those who were short-listed to attend the sessions. The writers registered the themes and ensured that it would not be divulged or used by anyone in the fraternity. This system has given them the confidence to narrate the stories, Mr. Suresh Kumar says.

Follow-up

As a follow-up, the association has decided to produce medium budget films with young talents for Rs.1.5 crore to Rs.2 crore. “Prominent directors would make films with young talents in lead roles. They would be at liberty to select stories from the bank or the writers of their choice. But the thrust would be on financial discipline and artistic excellence. We will ensure that the films are completed for Rs.1.5 crore and are reaching the cinema houses without delay. The association has enlisted the support of the exhibitors too. Already we have planned films with directors like Lal Jose, Kamal, Sibi Malayil and such others. We would take the plunge soon,” he says.

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