The Karnataka government is likely to set up a dedicated Cinema Promotion Board in a bid to help the film industry which has been affected by the Covid-19-induced lockdown.
Confirming the same, Deputy Chief Minister Ashwathnarayan CN Thursday said, “The government is looking at the possibilities of setting up a Kannada Cinema Promotion Board to help revive the Kannada film industry. This would enable us to offer incentives and concessions, and to set up affordable Janata theaters in the state. These considerations are being deliberated as part of revising the existing cinema policy.”
Other considerations include concessions for Sandalwood releases in theaters, and streamlining GST levied on film producers, the Minister added after a meeting with actor Shivarajkumar, who presented the challenges faced by the industry.
Several producers, directors, actors, and other prominent personalities had met Shivarajkumar earlier, asking him to be their voice to the government. The Kannada Film Producers’ Association was among those who pushed for the same.
“Survival of the industry is our first priority. It is essential that we fix the basics to ensure the industry is fast progressing as it was before the coronavirus pandemic put a full stop to everything,” the actor, fondly called Shivanna in the industry, said.
He also urged the government to ease restrictions — such as the 40-person limit at shooting locations — laid down in the wake of the pandemic, as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Health Department.
Shivarajkumar further sought help from the government to make policy-related decisions to make viewers feel safe to come back to theaters. “The industry cannot let theaters go,” he said, adding that streaming platforms were acting as a bonus for some producers.
Responding to the demands, Deputy CM Ashwathnarayan CN assured representatives of the industry of a meeting with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa next week. He added, “We should discuss the matter with the Department of Labour as well.”
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