Bad economics has stunted Gujarati cinema: Study

| TNN | Aug 22, 2011, 05.18 AM IST
AHMEDABAD: Recently the Gujarati film industry crossed the magic figure of 1,000 films. Although this was a milestone, the eighty-year-old film industry has failed to reach the heights that other regional cinema has. Associate professor of economics in Pilwai college in Mehsana, Kartik Bhatt, 43, decided to research the economics of Gollywood, as Gujarati cinema is popularly known. Bhatt's preliminary findings show that the popularity of Bollywood curtails the regional film industry.

"Directors of Gujarati cinema are forced to target audiences living in villages so the whole economics of producing a film prohibits a producer from spending much money.

In the end quality suffers and it fails to attract urban audience. It is a vicious circle," says Bhatt. According to Bhatt, there are only 80 theatres showing Gujarati films in the state presently. He says that even with a government subsidy of Rs five lakh one cannot earn much.

A major chunk of recovery of the money depends on the film's performance in the market. Also, "Most of the talent is moving to Bollywood or television serials because there is more money and glamour", Bhatt says. Bhatt who collected the data on the Gujarati film industry over the last ten years is now doing his PhD on "Economics, Problems of Regional Film Industry: A Case Study of Gujarati Film Industry". He feels that the Gujarati film industry has also failed to take advantage of the media.

"Unlike Bollywood films, Gujarati films are not released on a profit sharing basis, theatres charge Gujarati film producers for showing a film," says Bhatt. Bhatt firmly believes that the whole problem with Gujarati cinema lies in its economics. "There are many issues that ail the Gujarati film industry, one is theatres, the other is service charges of theatres and lack of theatres in the whole state.

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