Increasing violence in Kannada films worries censor board

October 25th, 2008 - 10:44 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 25 (IANS) An increase in the number of Kannada films glorifying violence is causing concern among censor board officials here who feel the continuing trend could lead to the downfall of the industry.”Unless the rot is stopped, the Kannada film industry may well lose its prominence and will be looked down by its own audiences who are right now coming to see good movies,” said Chandrashekhar, chief of the regional wing of the Central Board of Film Certification.

“Every one in four films censored was given A certificates for being extremely violent,” he added.

Some of the violence-packed films that released this year include Shivaraj Kumar starrer “Maadesha”, Yogi starrer “Nanda Loves Nandita”, Darshan’s “Gaja”, and “Gooli” that has actor Sudeep in the lead.

A study report based on 2007’s Kannada films was released recently and it highlighted the alarming trend of increased violence in movies. Of the 127 films released in 2007, 24 percent were violent compared to four percent in Tamil and 3.5 percent of Telugu films.

“This presents a very bad picture in comparison to the figures obtained from the Telugu and Tamil film industries, which have four and 2.4 percent violent films respectively in 2007,” said Chandrashekhar.

Chandrashekhar says filmmakers should try to make quality cinema.

“In the Hindi, Telugu and Tamil film industries, there have been many successful attempts to make crossover films that have shunned subjects like sex and violence. Kannada film producers can try and make meaningful cinema that have good content,” he said.

Till Oct 14, nearly 145 Kannada films have been cleared by the censor board and 20 percent of them were dominated by violence, said Chandrashekhar.

However, despite the increase in number of films produced in Kannada, there has not been a qualitative edge provided to many of these films.

Some producers argue that violence in movies guaranteed good business at the ticket window. But Chandrashekhar disagrees.

“It is a wrong notion to believe that violent films and gangster films ensure good returns to the producer,” the censor board official said quoting media reports that suggest the Kannada film industry has lost over Rs.100 million in the first nine months of this year.

He maintained that increased violence kept audiences away from theatres.

“Cinema today is the third popular medium after television and the Internet. While the two other mediums are growing, the popularity of films is fading only because of the excessive dose of violence.”

According to him, it is high time producers realised that they have to tread a new path instead of patronising violent films.

“Filmmakers are not trying to look for fresh ideas and innovative narration that would give a new fillip to the Kannada film industry,” said Chandrashekhar.

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