It is not the first time that the State Government's announcement of subsidy for films have evoked criticism. In fact, it has become sort of a ritual during every such announcement . The subsidy list announced for the year 2008-09 is not an exemption.
This time senior producers like Rockline Venkatesh, Soorappa Babu and others have taken exception. Producer Dayal Padmanabhan is even contemplating legal action. More than the films making the list, the films that have not made it has everyone aghast. Vamshi, Ambari, Bandu Balaga, Circus, Bombat, Junglee, Minchina Ota are some of the big films that have failed to make it to the list. The films have top stars and big producers backing it.
But subsidy has gone to some films that are neither art films or acclaimed. "It hurts me. The day the subsidy was announced many friends called up. They wanted to know if my films was worse than those that have been given subsidy. I am not giving any complaint to anybody, but let it be known that I am unhappy," says Rockline Venkatesh. On the other hand Soorappa Babu has already complained to the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. "I want the Film Chamber to call the film industry members; CV Shivashankar, Madusudan Reddy and KV Reddy and seek their explanation on how the subsidy list was arrived at. Those saying that producers who invest crores into each film should not worry about Rs 10 lakh subsidy are wrong. The question is not about Rs 10 lakh. It is about prestige. Is my film worse than those that are in the list. There are films like Chandulli Cheluve that was released after 16 years. Is Bandu Balaga, Vamshi, Circus or Bombat worse than those films?," asks Soorappa Babu.
Rockline Venkatesh has two suggestions. "I am not blaming the selection committee members, but they are not the right persons. The members were in the film industry many decades ago. They like films that were made in the 1960. They cannot understand the taste of films made in 2010. The selection committee should be more contemporary. Secondly, they can frame rules that subsidy is given only to select category of films. Let it be given only to low budget films. Because that is the mentality of selectors. They think big-budget films do not need subsidy. But subsidy is not about money alone. It is about selecting the best films of the year," Rockline says.