KFCC to put an end to film title issues
The controversy surrounding actor-producer Dwarakish’s new project Vishnuvardhana is not an isolated case in the Kannada film industry. For, rows over film titles have become a routine affair. To put an end to such rows, the Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce (KFCC), the apex body of the Kannada film industry, is planning drastic measures.
Fights among Kannada film producers for titles galore very often. Consequently, stars are getting entangled in the web in the process. Sudeep’s name has been dragged into Vishnuvardhana project. Earlier too, he was involved in a similar story. Producer Shankare Gowda had registered a title Dandam Dashagunam. Sudeep had agreed to act in the movie.
But due to some reason, Gowda sold the title to another producer Ganesh, who was keen on using the title for the remake of Tamil hit Khaaka Khaaka. As a result, Sudeep had to step out of the project. Last week, Ganesh launched Dandam Dashagunam by pairing Ramya with upcoming actor Chiranjeevi Sarja.
Another big budget producer who became a victim of the title controversy was lady producer Sowmya Sathyan. She announced a multi-starrer project featuring young heroes Yash, Chetan Chandra, Sathya and Prakash Raj and Mumaith Khan. She was looking for a powerful title. She zeroed in on Rajadhani (capital) as the plot was about a capital city (Bangalore).
The lady producer found that the title Rajadhani had been registered by a banner Sumukha Enterprises. Another producer Ravi Gowda had entered into an agreement with Sumukha Enterprises to make a film on the title Rajadhani. However, the agreement was valid for six months and Ravi Gowda failed to honor it. Sumukha Enterprises then sold the title Rajadhani to Sowmya Sathyan’s banner Shri Dheviramma Enterprices.
When Sowmya Sathyan announced Rajadhani movie, a miffed Ravi Gowda issued an advertisement in the newspaper claiming that he was hold the title rights. Interestingly, the KFCC had approved the title Rajadhani in favor of Sowmya Sathyan as she had procured it as per the film body’s rules and regulations. This led to an ugly scene with Ravi Gowda and henchmen beating up Sumukha Enterprises owner Kulkarni in KFCC premises. The incident was treated as a crime and Sumukha Enterprises lodged a police complaint against Ravi Gowda.
Not happy with the KFCC ruling, Ravi Gowda challenged the sale of the title to Sowmya Sathyan in the court. It was for the first time in the history of KFCC that a producer had taken a title row to the court. This had upset the then KFCC President Jayamala who vowed to put an end to such issues.
“The producers are fighting out in the open for a title. This has caused great embarrassment to the film fraternity and the KFCC. If producers can go to court, why should KFCC exist?” she wondered.
She pointed out that the producers were “trading” film titles. “It has become a business for producers to register fancy titles and trade them subsequently. This is an unhealthy business practice, which has to be ended,” she observed.
The current president Basanth Kumar Patil too concurs with Jayamala. As a consequence, the KFCC plans to introduce new rules and regulations to end title rows.
Among some measures is the validity period of titles. If any producer registers a title, the movie has to be made within 2-3 years. In the meantime, if the producer wants to sell the title to another producer, first he / she should obtain a no objection certificate from the KFCC. The KFCC, in turn, will decide the case depending on the merits and demerits.
Reforms to address problems like the fresh row surrounding Vishnuvardhana title too are being undertaken. The KFCC has already ensured the films with titles of popular public figures, stars and celebrities, politicians, government institutions and cities are not made. It plans to strengthen this rule with the support of the government.