[lg policy] Karnataka: High Court won’t interfere with govt policy for local language movies

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon Mar 21 14:42:21 UTC 2016

Won’t interfere with govt policy for local language movies: HC
By Shyam Prasad S, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Mar 21, 2016, 04.00 AM IST
The High Court of Karnataka has said that it cannot interfere in government
policies that try to promote the local Kannada language. It therefore
dismissed a petition filed by film producer Gopi Shastri, who challenged
the policy of providing subsidy to 100 Kannada films every year. Kannada,
Tulu, Kodava, Konkani and Lambani films made in Karnataka are eligible for
a subsidy that ranges from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.

Meanwhile, a record 170 films in these languages applied for subsidy during
the year 2015. Films that have obtained the Central Board of Film
Certification (CBFC) are eligible to apply for the subsidy. As many as 218
films (including 205 Kannada, 11 Tulu and 2 Kodava) got the censor
certification last year. Out of this, 170 have applied for the subsidy.
Films remade from other languages are not eligible for awards. Some films
could have also missed the deadline for application. Even then, 170 films
in the fray is the largest ever such figure.

Gopi Shastri had made the Kannada children's film 'Kalarava' in 2003. The
film had failed to win the subsidy back then. His advocate MN Satya Raj who
argued the case against the subsidy before a division bench of the HC said
that the reason for filing the petition was to prevent wasteful expenditure.

Satya Raj said, "For the past decade or so, most Kannada films are
glorifying crime and criminals. Many films are about rowdies and rowdyism.
The government introduced subsidy to films to promote Kannada and the local
culture. But today, every film has vulgar dialogues. All films have a
profit motive and the whole issue of providing financial assistance by the
government has lost its meaning. There are so many other areas that need

"There is shortage of funds for education and judiciary. The money wasted
on subsidy should be used for to further better causes. Films are not
essential commodities and providing them with subsidy is a wasteful
expenditure. However, the court said it is not open to interfering with a
government policy. It may not be legally possible for us to stop it, but
the government should understand that that it is wasting money."

A total of 100 films are given subsidy by the state government every year.
Up to four children's films get Rs 25 lakh each. Four films with historical
background or those that promote tourism get Rs 25 lakh apiece. Films based
on literary works and those that have won national awards or participated
in competition in FIAPF-accredited film festivals get Rs 15 lakh each. The
rest of the films get Rs 10 lakh each. A committee watches all films that
apply for subsidy (170 this time) and recommend based on quality. However,
there is growing concern that some films with 'micro-budgets' are being
made only for the purpose of landing awards.


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