Marathi film producer Akshay Bardapurkar is currently voicing out the concerns of Marathi filmmakers to support them in their struggle. Akshay approached the CM of Maharashtra Uddhav Bal Thackrey and the Minister for Medical Education, and Culture of Maharashtra, Amit Deshmukh to support the digital release of Marathi films with a subsidy. Akshay has requested the State in a personal letter appealing, ‘the digital releases of Marathi films should be treated equivalent to their theatrical releases and Marathi filmmakers should be allowed to avail subsidies irrespective of the medium’.
While talking to a leading newspaper Bardapurkar says, “Marathi films are already struggling with cut-throat competition from Hindi and International films in availing theatres, distribution, audience support, and budgets. The pandemic has made matters worse. Producers are grappling with the current market realities and barely managing to remain operational. In such times, what Marathi filmmakers need is strong financial backing”.
He further added, “Government support in the form of subsidy is needed now more than ever and I can’t stress enough on this point. The current norm says, only theatrical releases that are screened for a specific duration can avail subsidies from the state. It is our earnest request that digital releases should also be allowed a leeway given the current circumstances as theatrical release isn't an option anymore!”
Ever since the multiplexes are forced shut due to the COVID-19 impact, Marathi filmmakers are facing a struggle to stay afloat. Some films are moving to OTT platforms, while some are still stuck in the post-production, and some filmmakers are holding the releases. Films are eligible for a government subsidy only if the movie screens for a few days in the cinema halls. This puts Marathi filmmakers in a challenging situation due to the lack of financial support from the government.
Producer Akshay Bardapurkar fears the current situation may turn to worse. In the experience of Akshay, his last film AB Aani CD, which marked the debut of Bollywood’s legend Amitabh Bachchan in Marathi entertainment, could not enjoy the same amount of audience attention and revenue as expected. Akshay’s dialogue with the State will certainly help the Marathi filmmakers.
Image source: Instagram/akshaybardapurkar