It is true that all film industries have common problems and also problems unique to them. But the way hurdles are being placed before Kannada films is to go by, it seems there is no future for the industry.
Day by day our producers are facing more and more problems. 'Is it a sin to produce a Kannada Films,' is the question almost all Kannada film makers are asking.
If you are wondering why Chitraloka.com has raised these questions, knowing the reasons will shock you!
For films with big stars, the problems are less. But it does not mean there face no problems. But for Kannada films without big stars and small budget movies the problems are existential.
Last week Kannada movies faced their biggest challenge with multiplex theaters. In Book My Show some of the Kannada movie tickets were shown as unavailable or was shown as sold out in their app/website. This in spite of tickets available in theaters. But due to efforts of some producers, multiplexes were exposed in their attempts to remove Kannada films using such tactics.
A danger from a surprising quarter now is from the Central Board of Film Certification and its regional office in Bengaluru. Though CBFC certifies films in all languages, it is troubling only Kannada films.
The previous regional officer Mr Nagendra Swamy had made it very clear to the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce that there is no rule stipulating producers not to announce the date of the film's release before the movie is Censored.
The only condition was that the Censor board should not be forced to watch a film for certification just because the date was announced. The Board needs time as per rules to watch films and certify them.
Chitraloka had then created awareness through a video about this.
But look at what happened to Kannada movie Tyson. Tyson was censored with U/A certificate and was given a voice mute according to its director Ramnarayan. After doing the mute given by the censor, the film team took DVD to the censor office on Tuesday. They were asked to come the next day. Tyson movie is releasing on March 4th and they had given advertisements in newspapers with the date on Wednesday. When they reached the censor office on Wednesday, they got a shock. They were asked how without getting the censor certificate they published the date in advertisements. The film's producer and director had to apologize (for their alleged lack of knowledge) and gave it in writing! Even on Thursday they were made to wait. Only after waiting till Friday were they given a certificate.
Few questions beg answers. Under what law is CBFC objecting to announcement of release dates by Kannada producers? What law permits them to ask for written apology by producers? When Hollywood and Bollywood films can announce release dates months and years in advance, why are Sandalwood producers prevented? Are Sandalwood producers second class citizens according to CBFC rules?
How come the same Censor Board treated Killing Veerappan movie differently? The release date of that film was announced long back and they kept on issuing publicity material in newspapers and television channels with the date. The censor certificate was given to them just one day before the release! Did CBFC take an apology letter from Ram Gopal Verma?
Many Sandalwood producers have tried to commit suicide and many have lost their homes. Yes it is not just because of these problems that they land in trouble. Some producers come to film industry with lack of knowledge and they overspend, finally resulting in losses. But why does a Central government agency add to their problems? Should not the Censor board treat all film industries equally? Please show any law which says so!
Now who can solve these problems is the biggest question?
The KFCC and KFPA are held back from openly challenging the government agency as they have problems with another government agency, the CCI. They have their own restraints. Can the CBFC at least have level playing field please?