16 Indie filmmakers from across the country (13 of them national award winners) have joined hands to submit a petition to the Information and Broadcasting minister demanding better theatrical exhibition, liberal censor regime and mandatory telecast of national award winning films during primetime on the national broadcaster Doordarshan.
The online petition, posted by Onir, whose I AM won the national award for best Hindi film this year, is jointly filed by national award winning filmmakers Aparna Sen, Ashutosh Gowariker, Buddhadev Das Gupta, Goutam Ghosh, Jahnu Barua, Janaki Viswanathan, Nila Madav Panda, Rituparno Ghosh, Sachin Kundalkar, Suman Mukhopadhyay, Umesh Kulkarni, Vinay Shukla, film makers Kaushik Mukherjee(Q), Subhash Kapoor and Oscar Award and National Award winning Sound Engineer Resul Prookutty
The petition demands at least one prime time screening of all national award winning films on Doordarshan and also raises the issue of rigid censor regime faced by films when it comes to telecast. “Why are films being discriminated as compared to TV programmers? TV content is not censored and has much wider viewership and is exposed to the viewers indiscriminately. Why is it that serials/reality shows get away with so much regressive content while films face so much censorship when it comes to TV?” ask filmmakers.
Filmmakers have also suggested to allocated Rs. 200 crore from the Rs. 600 crore budget meant for centenary celebration of Indian cinema towards building low-cost theatres dedicated for Indie films.
Petition argues, “High ticket pricing that is inappropriate for small budget films, less no. of shows and odd show timings further destroy the possibility of Indie cinema (regional and Hindi) to have any proper chance at being viewed. It makes no sense that a 150 crores film and a 1.5 crore film are priced by the multiplexes in the same manner. Onir had raised this issue first in a guest post that he had written for DearCinema.com (Why should the ticket for a 3 crore film and a 150 crore film be priced the same: Onir)
Filmmakers have demanded to reserve one screen in multiplexes for Indie cinema in all Indian languages till the time low-cost theatres are set up.