Monday, August 09, 2004

Film Stars demand protection for Kannada film industry

Kannada film stars led by Dr. Rajkumar are planning to take out a rally today in the city to place certain demands in front of the State Government. In an era of free markets, this is protectionism of the worst sort. It is high time for the Kannada film industry to conduct some introspection on where it stands and how to transform itself to face the realities of today and make itself more appealing to the cine goer. Production values are the shoddiest of the lot and as for story ideas, casting and music go, the less said the better. How does the industry think that according it a subsidy and delaying release of other language films in the state will induce the cine goer to increase his/her viewing of Kannada cinema? It will only increase piracy of those films and result in loss of revenue to exhibitors and the Government in the state. It will not push the audience to turn to Kannada cinema. For that to happen, production values have to match that of other language films and be more appealing to the average cine goer. Till that happens, no amount of molly-coddyling by the state government will change the fate of Kannada cinema. What is most distressing however, is that some of the vanguards of Kannada cinema, who contributed to its golden age, in the 60s and 70s, like Dr. Rajkumar, are joining hands to place these absurd, regressive demands instead of exhorting today's film makers to produce better, appealing cinema.

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