Regional cinema gives corporates a shout

NEW DELHI: The first panel session at ASSOCHAM’s Focus 2007 conclave kick started with a discussion on ‘relevance of regional media and entertainment industry in global context’.


Lyricist Javed Akhtar supervised the session as its chairperson and Mahesh Manjrekar (representing Marathi cinema), Manoj Tewari (representing Bhojpuri cinema), Arvind Trivedi (representing Gujrati cinema) and L Suresh (representing Tamil cinema) were the speakers on the panel.


The session began with Manjrekar chalking out the history and growth of Marathi cinema. He said, “Marathi cinema requires a channel to create, communicate and deliver content to audience. The government should provide a studio/shooting floor for Marathi cinema. There should be corporate backing, which will enable us to take our films to the Marathi and non Marathi audience.”


He was also grateful to filmmaker Subhash Ghai to have taken keen interest in co-production and distribution of Marathi films. Raja Sen too echoed the same view on the need of corporate backing.


Trivedi pointed out that in Gujarat fewer films are being made now and the finance provision and options too are less. Tewari added, “Actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgan and Shatrugan Sinha are now a part of Bhojpuri cinema but we face a lack of good directors and writers.”


Quoting the success of Rajnikant starrer Sivaji – The Boss, producer and distributor of Tamil films L Suresh said, “As per the Cannes 2005 report, two Tamil movies Chandramukhi and Anniya were top worldwide grosser, ahead of Bunty Aur Babli. Annuall export of Tamil mainstream cinema contributes Rs 150- 200 crores, Telegu contributes Rs 60-70 crores, Malayam contributes Rs 20 crore and that of Kannada is almost negligible.”


All in all, just like the influx of corporate money in the Hindi film industry, various regional film industries also are in need of finance and backing that will enable them to grow further.