Onir unhappy with DD, says late night slot won’t help indie films

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) National-award winning filmmaker Onir says Doordarshan’s decision to screen independent movies in the late night slot will not help indie films in getting more eyeballs.

The filmmaker, who was here Thursday to participate in Save Indie Cinema campaign along with several other filmmakers, also pointed out that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) adds to their woes by giving A-certificate to their films.

“Films with an A-certificate get 11 p.m. slot on DD, when people usually got to sleep after a long day at work. Viewership reduces as they miss many good films,” said 44-year-old.

He added: “Moreover, showing scripts to the censor board for the certification is like presenting proposals. We literally try hard to convince them to give U-certificate.”

Onir said another major reason for independent films not getting screens and audiences is highly priced tickets at multiplexes.

“Since docu-dramas come under the category of non-commercial films, multiplexes give us morning slots when few people come… just because it doesn’t have Bollywood biggies! Also, who would like to shell out Rs.300 for a docu-drama or so called non-commercial film,” said Onir.

On the occasion of the centenary celebrations of Indian cinema, contemporary filmmakers should be promoted alongside the work of luminaries of filmdom, he said.

“Now that Indian cinema has completed 100 years, we are celebrating or showcasing the work done in the past by legendary filmmakers. We should also highlight the works by contemporary filmmakers. When we were celebrating 100 years of Tagore, the government announced that every state will have Tagore Manch (stage). Government should do something about films also. We are creative people, they can’t restrict or control us. We need support,” he said.

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