IN A boost to Punjabi cinema, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, following a meeting with Punjab Arts Council chairperson Satinder Satti on Friday, decided to make one show of Punjabi film mandatory at multiplexes across Punjab and Chandigarh. A notification in this regard, said Satti, will hopefully be issued by the state government before the year ends.
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It was in July this year that entertainment tax on Punjabi movies was withdrawn. “I had two important agendas – one entertainment tax and the other to secure one show of Punjabi film at least in cinemas and I had been pushing it in Vidhan Sabha,” said Satti. According to her, the small producers, who were affected the most by big budget films, especially Hindi, grabbing all shows, will now get some relief. “Small producers take loans and make movies to pursue their passion. With distributors not giving them screens, it was killing the regional small producer and he/she was not coming back to make more films,” stated Satti.
Punjabi cinema, she added, has 40-50 releases a year and films need to be screened. “Maharashtra cinema is doing very well because of secured shows. Punjabi community and artistes are doing well and we want to give them this push,” said Satti, who had been holding meetings with the state government for the last month and a half and made this announcement at a meeting with Badal on Friday. “I agree it’s new, but our aim is to establish a law and it can be amended or modified,” she added.
Filmmaker Jatinder Mauhar, on the other hand, said, “One show is less, it depends on the timing and distribution.” Echoing the same, actor Gurpreet Ghuggi said, “The industry lacks growth, quality and quantity. Moreover, multiplexes are an expensive proposition. One has to see how much relaxation and show timings the films will get. Our priority should be a culture policy and growth of Punjabi cinema.”