Monday, September 20, 2004

Other film industries hit back at Kannada

Other film industries plan tit for tat
Times of India

Upset by Kannada producers’ seven-week moratorium on other language films, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi film industries have drawn up a series of counter-embargoes.

No other language films will be released at all in Karnataka.
No actors or technicians from other languages will work in Kannada films.
No Kannada actors, artistes, producers, music directors, technicians will be permitted to work in any other industry. No other language producers will produce Kannada movies.
No Kannada films will be dubbed into any other language.
No shooting will be done in Karnataka by any other language; Kannada films will be refused permission to shoot elsewhere.
Film manufacturers will be asked to limit raw stock to Kannada.

The Kannada producers might have won the first battle by ensuring the release of ‘Omkara’ in theatres across the state. But, it seems, the war is getting bigger by the day. Upset by Kannada producers not budging on the seven-week moratorium against other language films, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi film industries have drawn up a series of counter-embargoes, which if implemented, will pinch Kannada filmdom very hard.

Telugu film industry sources on Sunday told The Times of India over telephone from Hyderabad: “We thought we could persuade them, so we waited for four weeks. Now, we’re all planning a lot of embargoes on Karnataka film industry.’’ All top film bodies, including Film Federation of India and the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, are said to have ratified the embargoes. A formal announcement is expected on Wednesday.

Prior to imposing embargoes, senior Telugu industry members said they had tried to meet their counterparts in Kannada filmdom, but were not given an appointment. But Kannada Film Producers’ Association president Basant Kumar Patil said: “If anyone wants to meet us, we’ll be extremely happy to explain our situation. All Kannada films released now are doing extraordinarily well, we’ve every right to protect our language.’’

Contending that embargoes against Kannada filmdom would only further complicate the issue, Patil said: “We’ve not banned other language movies, we’re only asking for delayed release. Distributors themselves are now saying they’re happy with this system, as they have saved Rs 2 crore in the last one month, by not releasing other language flops.’’

Patil maintained that Kannada was only doing what Tamil and Telugu has already done to save local language. “Has Tamil Nadu permitted Doordarshan’s Hindi news? And Telugu has been trying for years to streamline Hindi movie releases in their state. We’re doing the same,’’ he said.

Kannada film industry’s appointed ‘trouble-shooter’ Ambarish, said: “Let us not provoke the issue further. It is a family affair and we’ve to sort it out. Naturally, other language industries will be upset and react like this. We’ll talk and see what can be done, whether all theatres in Karnataka can be fed with sufficient movies, how to improve Kannada films and so on.’’

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