Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Dec 04, 2004

News
Features
Stocks
Cross Currency
Shipping
Archives
Google

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Cinema


Box office hits signal revival of film industry in Kerala

Vipin V. Nair

Kochi , Dec. 3

AFTER a couple of years of slump, the Malayalam film industry is showing signs of a revival with a series of box office hits setting the film world buzzing with activity.

The number of films released in 2004 may be fewer than last year's 76, but the industry, which grappled with factionalism, taxation issues and box office fiascos not so long ago, seems to be back in track now.

"There is a revival," said Mr Siyad Kokker, President of the Kerala Film Chamber. He says that many recent releases such as `Kazhcha' (Sight), `Natturajavu' (Chieftain), `Black', `Vellinakashtram' and `Mampazhakkalam' (The Mango Season) were successful.

By the last week of November, 51 films were released. The Film Chamber had earlier expected only 25-30 films to hit the screens during the year.

Industry observers say that this buoyancy has given rise to a flurry of activity in the industry. A number of films are being made and `all the artists and technicians are now busy with projects.'

Producers and actors were at daggers drawn with each other a few months back over issues such as the latter's fee and appearing in stage programmes. This acrimony put the film industry in a crisis before a compromise was hammered out.

The industry also went into an indefinite strike in June to demand a cut in the entertainment taxes levied by the State. The government later announced a relief package for the industry and drastically reduced the tax.

As per the new rates, Malayalam films have a 25 per cent entertainment tax in city corporation areas, 20 per cent in municipal areas and 15 per cent in panchayats as compared with the previous rate of 48 per cent.

For other language films, the rates are 35, 30 and 20 per cent respectively.

Mr Kokker said that in spite of the revival signs, some concerns still persist. "The cost of production is still a problem," he said. Though the Chamber had stipulated to its members that costs of films should be restricted to Rs 1 to 1.5 crore, that budget is still to be achieved.

"Costs often shoot up to Rs 2 to 2.25 crore," Mr Kokker said. This escalation happens because Malayalam films have to compete with big budget Tamil and Hindi films, he added.

A handful of low-budget experiments with new faces were successful last year and set a trend. But this year many of such films flopped. "The audience did not react to such films," he said.

A noteworthy trend in 2004 is that the superstars of Malayalam cinema, Mammootty and Mohan Lal, made a strong comeback after suffering a series of flops in the past.

More Stories on : Cinema | Kerala | Entertainment & Leisure

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page



Stories in this Section
AP to set up panels for job scene monitoring


El Nino traced to `variations' in Indian Ocean
SC tells Reliance Info to pay up entire demand made by BSNL — Refers case to Delhi HC
Finance Minister assures support to States on VAT — Allays fear of revenue loss
OECD report sees halt in recovery
Cheaper fuel prices keep inflation rate static
Unorganised sector to invite suggestions for new schemes
India, Russia identify banking, IT for future cooperation
Indo-Italian Chamber fair to boost trade
Tatarstan keen on investing in AP
Medical camp at Kochi
OIDB my be used to set up strategic oil reserves
Kerosene, LPG subsidy phase-out by 2007
Shell returns to fuel retailing
`Govt must clarify on Patent Amendment Bill draft'
Ensure drug availability at affordable prices: Bengal CM
DGFT clarifies on deemed export benefits for supplies to nuclear power projects
Sharp growth seen in shipping tonnage
Service tax: Trade urges Govt not to accept panel proposals
Assocham for removal of double taxation on dividend distribution
T.L. Sankar heads coal sector panel
Surgeons' meet in Hyderabad tomorrow
`Central aid for asset-creation projects may be linked to reforms agenda'
Hike in interest rates not to hit housing demand: Realtors
NMDC eyes gold exploration in Tanzania
Rising production costs — Paper cos mull further price hike
Box office hits signal revival of film industry in Kerala
Labelling industry seen to cross Rs 5,000 cr in 3 yrs
Business plan contest evokes spirited response from students
In Hyderabad today
Filing of annual information returns — CBDT specifies 7 categories
When attachment causes misery
PAN made mandatory for more transactions
Good potential for egg exports to Gulf
Kerala: Ayurveda medicine licence date extended
Goa, Karnataka tour operators may join hands



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line