But after an uproar from those who would lose out, the GO has been put on hold, it is learnt. A revised GO is expected in the next couple of days which will be applicable only from next year, allowing nearly 20 films to benefit from a subsidy of Rs 18.75 lakh each this year.
The Subsidy Games
The Karnataka Government has been providing subsidy to films made in Karnataka and in the local languages for decades. Around 125 films receive subsidies in a year. A panel selects these films from among the films released in the given year based on quality and other criteria set under the relevant rules. Each of them gets Rs 10 lakh from the state government.
Some of the Karnataka films at the festival deserve subsidy. But the attempt of at least some of them to gain subsidy through the automatic route is very clear in this case. This is a racket
Some films however need not go through the jury process. They are eligible for the subsidy which is more than the Rs 10 lakh given to other films. Films that have won State or National awards get Rs 15 lakh plus an additional Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh for the director, amounting to a total of Rs 21 lakh.
Similarly, films that have been screened in recognised International film festivals get Rs 15 lakh + Rs three lakh + Rs 75,000 for the director, amounting to a total of Rs 18.75 lakh. The selection is ‘automatic’.
Here is where the alleged scam originated. In the recent 25th
Some officers at the
Only one of these films, Gangodaka, was in the competition section of the KIFF. 10 were in ‘Regional Focus: Kannada Films’ section.
Five were in the ‘Unheard India: Rare Language Indian Films’ section and three were in the Childrens’ Film category. (The 1970s film Samskara was another film screened at the festival).
Twist in the tale
“Not all the films at KIFF can be questioned. But there are quite a few which you would be surprised to find in film festivals,” sources in the Information Department said. Last week, the Government came up with the GO which modified the criteria for eligibility of subsidy. As per this, only films screened in the competition section of recognised film festivals would be eligible for automatic subsidy. If this GO was implemented, only Gangodaka from among the 20 films screened at KIFF would be automatically eligible for the Rs 18.75 lakh subsidy. But the GO is unlikely to be implemented in its current form. In the last two days, film-makers have managed to influence the Government to change the GO, sources said. “The GO will now be applicable only from next year. The GO, with this change, will come out in a day or two,” sources in the Department said.
They enter a recognised film festival and try to get a subsidy, in the hope of making money from it. Think of the image of Kannada films when such films are screened in festivals.”
The subsidy for films have had a long history of scandals behind it. A few years ago, jury members were caught giving subsidy to those films whose makers paid them Rs 2 lakh for each film.
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