BANGALORE, January 2, 2014: Pawan Kumar’s crowd-funded Kannada film, Lucia, is definitely the talk of the sixth Bangalore International Film Festival (BIFFes) which is on in the city, with everybody wanting to know more about how Kumar pulled off its unique funding. On Monday at the fest, the director explained the business of making the film.
Fox Star Studios India has asked him to remake the film in Hindi, with a budget of Rs. 50 crore. “What will I do with that kind of money? With public funding of Rs. 70 lakh, we made Lucia with the cooperation of newcomers…We cut traditional expenses as an experiment. The present valuation of the film is approximately Rs. 2.5 crore,” he said.
The film has been screened at five international film festivals so far, and is competing in three categories at BIFFes. On what the public who funded the project would get in return, the filmmaker said: “We have given a unique [web] link to contributors, from where they can allow the audience to download the film online. One of the contributors made Rs. 3 lakh through this model and shared 50 per cent of the profits with us. This will help market the film further.”
Kumar also spoke of how far his project had brought him. A decade ago, he had borrowed a delegate pass from his friend to attend an international film festival. He got caned then, when the police tried to disburse the crowd. “I am fortunate that my film is competing in two sections and I have a pass to watch films,” he said.
He called on the Kannada film industry to also “push geographical boundaries”.
On Sunday, Jatta directed by B.M. Giriraj created ripples as it was screened twice “on public demand”. “Multiplexes cancelled screening of Jatta to facilitate screening of a Bollywood film. I am fortunate that my film has been screened twice in a multiplex,” Giriraj said.
He credited Kumar for his work, saying his experiment paved the way for others such as Jatta.
Umashankara Swamy’s Munsifa, which is competing in the Kannada section, is based on a story by Bagalodi Devaraya. “It is my humble contribution of 100 years of Indian cinema, as it has classical structure, black and white, colour and a strong narrative,” he said.