Small Budget Films Still Steal The Show
By Hemanth Reddy S 21/01/2016

 There's no official announcement yet. But at least four productions have been green-signalled after Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) and the Federation of Cine Technicians and Workers of Eastern India came together to make Rs 40 lakh films a reality. However, there still are roadblocks ahead, feel filmmakers.


The films are supposed to be completed on a budget of Rs 30 lakh, while Rs 10 lakh is the distribution cost. Said Krishna Daga, vice-president of EIMPA, "We have received many more applications, which we'll be sending to the Federation. There are certain guidelines that the filmmakers need to abide by. At least 10 more films will be made in the next two months."


Filmmaker Swapan Ghoshal, who is about to begin Joy Maa Tara from today, will also start Adrishyo Trikon from March. "The market for Bengali films has reduced considerably over the years. Several theatres have shut down in Bengal and even though publicity costs have gone up, returns aren't adequate. Under these circumstances, the best thing to do is make films on a shoe-string budget. That way, we'll be able to bring newer ideas to the table," said Swapan. His Joy Maa Tara with Abhishek Chatterjee and Laboni Sarkar will be on the lines of My Friend Ganesha, said the filmmaker. "Mythology is the most sought-after subject now and I hope to touch a chord with this film," he said. Two more films — Partha Adhikari's Bondi Pakhi and Raaj Mukherjee's Happy Birthday — are in production at the moment. Raaj, who last made Boudi.Com, said, "No filmmaker/star today can guarantee returns even if there's no end to investments in Bengali films. Also, the Bangladeshi market is yet to open up though I'm hearing a lot about exchange films. The taste of people in cinema is not the same on both sides of the border and that's an area of concern."




This, at a time when the taste of the rural audience in Bengal too is changing. This is a good initiative as producers can at least get back the money they are putting in. The Federation has relaxed its rules and this, to me, looks like the future of Bengali cinema," said Raaj, adding, "But, there are a few aspects that need to be looked into. We have shot the film with 17 technical hands and heard that the film cannot release in more than 10 theatres. Also, we are expected to shoot only in 5D cameras, which have their own limitations. When you start something new, there are initial hiccups, but things can be sorted out with mutual consent." Rhitobrata Bhattacharya, who was supposed to make Pagla Dashu on the given budget, said he might have to back out. "It's a great initiative but it doesn't sound feasible for my project. And even if the production can be completed in Rs 30 lakh, it's impossible to wrap up the distribution in another Rs 10 lakh. In at least 12 states, filmmakers get subsidy for making movies in vernacular languages. In Bengal, there's no subsidy and the costs are also higher. Also, the guidelines specify that the satellite rights cannot be sold till a film has completed a two-week run in theatres. I'm getting a good feedback for Pagla Dashu from the market and if not this film, I'll try to make another one on a Rs 40 lakh budget," he said.

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