Around 2 to 3 decades ago, Sandalwood was a dominant force in the Southern Movie Industry. Movies with good and compelling movies were being produced which were ably supported by brilliant directors such as Puttanna Kanagal and extraordinary actors like Shankar Nag and Dr. Rajkumar. However, in the last few years, the Kannada film industry has lost its sheen and as a result of it, our market has spiraled downwards.
With the introduction of the new-age actors and filmmakers, the hope for Sandalwood fans is back as our movies have steadily started to make a mark across the country. It is no doubt that there is still a long way to go to be on par with the neighboring industries but the only direction for us from now on would be to go upwards.
On that note, here is a list of 10 Things that the Kannada Film Industry lacks which if improved, can take us back to our glory days.
1. Unique Concepts & Out of the box subjects
Shortage of good quality stories is a problem that has been persistent in the last few years for KFI. There are hardly any novel-based movies these days and very few times have novel subjects been tried out by Sandalwood filmmakers in recent times. This definitely needs to change to help Sandalwood raise its standards.
2. Engaging Screenplays
A screenplay can be defined as a tool that serves as the transition of a story from page to screen. Sandalwood movies in recent times have used repetitive screenplay formats and in most cases, they have failed to hold the attention of the audience. The value of a screenwriter needs reconsideration in Sandalwood at the earliest. Only this can make good stories become successful on screen.
3. Consistent Directors
Consistency is one aspect that has been missing in our filmmakers. Most of the directors fizzle out after a few movies and in many cases, they are way too inconsistent in delivering good movies. Hence, filmmakers must be more responsible in delivering good quality content rather than trying to build their resume with hurriedly made movies.
4. Producers willing to invest on off-beat subjects
We have seen a number of Sandalwood movies failing at the box-office despite having decent content. The main reason for this has been the tendency of these movies to fall into the commercial movie trap. In most cases, it looks like the producers are involved in these decisions which eventually lead to a film’s failure. This needs to change if Sandalwood must evolve. A producer is the heartbeat of a movie and if we can find producers whose only motivation is not to make money; our industry would go far ahead.
5. Sharp Marketing strategies
Sandalwood is one industry in which the marketing standards are extremely poor. We have come across cases where a movie’s trailer releases 2 days before its release and in some cases, due to poor planning, we never get a chance to watch a movie’s trailer. Hardly any promotion is done for most of the movies and if done too, it follows the usual conventional template of 2 interviews and 1 press conference. This aspect needs to be concentrated on in the coming days to help the industry.
6. Studios with the latest infrastructure and equipment
Half of a Kannada filmmaker’s time is spent in Chennai, Hyderabad or Mumbai where they get access to high-quality studios and shooting set-ups. The government needs to develop an institution on the lines of Ramoji Film City to help Sandalwood produce better films.
7. A rigid market inside our state
It is a well-known fact that Karnataka is one state which is filled highly with people who have migrated from other states. The best experience of watching a movie is in our mother tongue and hence, neighboring industries are eating our market in the process of serving their people located in Karnataka. It is indeed unfortunate that on many occasions, a good Kannada film has to make way for big releases from other industries.
8. A well-recognized Film Institute
Very few in Karnataka consider filmmaking as a serious profession. Also, formal education is absent in a few of our technicians which is visible in a few movies. Most of the other states have a decent film-institute either funded by the government or privately owned. Probably, nurturing one such film-institute in Bengaluru could be the answer to a number of issues in Sandalwood.
9. The proper transition of talents from theatre to cinema
A major reason for the success of Sandalwood in the ’70s was due to the impact of technicians and actors from the theatre background. Karnataka can still boast of a solid theatre culture but its effect has been minimal on the industry. Sandalwood needs to encourage a number of talents from the theatre background and also ensure a smooth transition for these individuals from stage to screen.
10. Streamlined audience
The IT boom has made Bengaluru entirely cosmopolitan. Being the biggest market for Sandalwood, Bengaluru’s population is filled with Kannadigas who are can speak multiple languages. Naturally, one picks the best content to invest his hard-earned money on and hence, Sandalwood seems to be losing out in this aspect.