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Plea to make Mysore the Hollywood of Karnataka

Film industry in Karnataka is looking forward to some far-sighted decisions from the new State Government headed by Mr. H.D.Kumara Swamy, who himself is a leading personality from film industry.

One such decision the Kannada film sector is looking forward is film industry status for the sector on par with the neighbouring States. Industry recognition to the ailing Kannada film industry will go a long way in improving its prospects.

Veteran film producer and a spokesman of the Film Chamber Mr. S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu has urged the State government to liberalize the theatre policy, support and encourage multiplexes and mini-theatres, which are finding greater public support, simplify
rules and regulations relating to setting up of theatres, and enforce goonda act to check video piracy as has been done in the other states in the country.

Reviewing the past and the present status of the film industry in Karnataka, he pointed out the urgent need for industry recognition to the Kannada film sector. The Reserve Bank of India had already done so, he pointed out and said, Karnataka government had not given this status to its film industry. The film industry had become a corporate business today requiring heavy investments, he said while addressing the members of the Mysore District Journalists’ Association recently.

Lack of industry recognition had put the entire Rs. 3 crore burden of producing a Kannada film on the producer. The producer, therefore, will look at the revenue prospects of his film so that he could earn back his investment. This narrowed down the quality of
the film as the producer’s primary concern would be on the film’s commercial aspects like violence and sex, than cultural or thematic presentation as was the situation during 1970s and 1980s when Kannada film industry had earned the encomium as a trendsetter, the film producer observed.

He also suggested subsidy for good novel-based films to encourage production of quality Kannada films. He recalled veteran producer-director the late Puttanna Kanagal had based all his films on Kannada novels. Babu, who has produced over 50 films, including a few in Hindi, recalled how Kannada films had set a trend in the 70s and 80s, but had come to suffer today. While Tamil Nadu has 2,700 theatres, Karnataka has just around 900 film theatres, he quoted as an example.

The Kannada film industry had 15,000 and 20,000 people and industry status would also improve their position, he felt.

Explaining the problems confronting the film industry in Karnataka, Mr. Babu lamented that none of the enterprising Kannadigas had launched an exclusive Kannada channel in the State. As a result, the industry had come to depend on channels of other States or other languages.

Even the leading industrialist of Karnataka, Mr. Vijaya Mallya had his channel in Tamil. However, if the business magnets mind it is not difficult for them to launch a Kannada channel in Karnataka for meeting the needs of the Kannada film industry and the state’s
culture, he said and welcomed the reported ‘Kannada Kasthuri’ channel proposed to be launched by Chief Minister Mr. H.D. Kumaaraswamy.

Mr. Rajendra Singh Babu reiterated his demand that Mysore be made the Hollywood of Karnataka and Bangalore, its Los Angeles.

“Mysore has all the requisite facilities for being revived as the film industry capital of Karnataka. None would come if a film studio is set up some 50 miles away from Bangalore, even if it is well equipped. Besides, some how, studios are not a successful proposition in Bangalore. Mysore is the right place and rightly the Chief Minister is interested in this proposal,” Babu added.

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