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Kerala filmmakers lament official apathy
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 13 Lamenting what they termed as official "neglect" of the regional cinema in Kerala, filmmakers at a film festival here Thursday said local movies have failed to make any mark due to the lack of proper marketing and promotional tactics.
"Huge amount of money is spent to promote films these days," said Shyama Prasad, whose "Orae Kadal" was screened at the 12th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).
He said one area in which films from Kerala fail to make the mark is promotion. "The money that they (others) spent on promotion (of films) would be enough for us to make a film. In this we fall flat, we need promotion of films."
Present to share their concerns with Prasad at the open house programme of the IFFK were Babu Thiruvalla, Lenin Rajendran, Avira Rebecca and Roshan Andrews.
Rajendran, whose "Rathri Mazha" was shown at the festival, was critical of Doordarshan as well, and said a few years back there was a slot in the national channel to promote regional films.
"With Prasar Bharati Broadcasting Corporation of India coming up, the slot for the regional films was removed," he said.
The filmmakers had equally harsh words for the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy, the organizers of the IFFK.
"We don't want any mementoes from the state or central governments. The need of the hour is financial support. It is sad that the academy does not provide us any help to market our films," said Rebecca whose debut film "Thakarachenda" was screened.
"We are not interested in hearing words like 'good cinema', which has become a tag for films which are not in the commercial mould."
Babu Thiruvalla demanded the immediate hiking of subsidy for regional films. "The Kerala government offers a mere Rs.400,000 while many states in the country offer up to a million. The academy has to do something to help film makers (of Kerala)," said Babu.
Roshan Andrews of "Notebook" said that as a first timer at the IFFK, he has "realized that a few people from abroad who arrive at the IFFK decide on which film from here has to be promoted globally".
"Many directors don't even know who they are and it is where the academy has to make arrangement."
The weeklong film festival started Dec 7.
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