Udayavni Special

Work on film city in Bengaluru will start soon: CM BS Yediyurappa


PTI, Sep 9, 2020, 8:20 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Wednesday said that the work on the proposed film city in Bengaluru will start soon as he assured all possible help to the Kannada film industry that is under distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions.

“Most importantly regarding the film city, there were earlier talks over whether it should be set up at Mysuru or Bengaluru. Now the search is on for land in Bengaluru. It will be finalised at the earliest. The film city will come up in Bengaluru, for which Rs 500 crore has been earmarked in the budget. Work in this regard will start soon,” Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters after meeting a delegation from the Kannada film industry, he said they shared their issues and concerns, to which he assured that he would address whatever was possible.

Recently, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan had said that the film city would be established on 150 acres of land at Hessarghatta in the city.

Representatives of the film industry, including star actors Shiva Rajkumar, Yash, Duniya Vijay, Tara Anuradha, Film Chamber president D R Jairaj, among others, met the Chief Minister and submitted a memorandum, along with a charter of demands.

Shiva Rajkumar said all issues concerning the industry, including film chamber, producers, exhibitors, directors and labour, which include actors, have been shared with the Chief Minister and he promised to look into it and try to resolve whatever was possible at the earliest.

Not wishing to put any figure to the loss faced by the industry due to the pandemic and lockdown, he told reporters that there was no doubt that they have suffered huge losses in the last six-month-long period.

“We have shared our issues and hope they will be addressed,” Rajkumar said.

To a question on whether any request was made on opening theatres, he said it was also discussed.

“But the guidelines have to come from the Centre. We are waiting for it. Opening theatres is not a big thing, how much prepared we are should also be looked into… it all depends on the understanding between exhibitors, producers and distributors. They will have to decide. From our side, as actors, we are doing our bit by participating in shootings,” he added.

The charter of demands submitted to the CM pointed out that the industry was in a difficult time with all activities being shut for the last six months due to the COVID pandemic.

They also sought to lay the foundation for the film city at the earliest for which funds were allocated in the budget, repayment of SGST amount to producers, implementation of the single window system and creation of a separate cyber cell for the industry to put an end to online piracy.

It also requested the CM not to cut power and water connections to single-screen theatres, who have not been able to pay dues because of COVID, and thereby help in reopening of theatres and also recommend to the Centre for exempting or giving concession for single-screen theatres from paying SGST.

The charter of demands includes concession in power, water tariffs and the property tax for studios, bringing workers at single screen theatres under the purview of the labour department, providing houses to seniors in the industry without a house of their own and also fixing ticket prices at multiplexes and bring in necessary rules under the film act.

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