There was a very good piece on rediff the other day on Marathi cinema (worth a read).
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Now Marathi cinema as an entity was given up a few years back what with Mumbai being both the epicenter of film production and Bollywood. There was an odd release here and there but nothing that created anything more than a ripple. Being in Marathi cinemas position is unenvious. Bang in the middle of Bollywood - many of Bollywoods movers and shakers are Maharashtrian - and money being bigger in Hindi - there was no incentive to create or work in Marathi movies. The government has some subsidies and rules, but then who ever got anything done by a subsidy?
And then comes the good news. With the multiplexes and some fine stories and themes coming up, Marathi cinema has made a comeback. It will obviously never become equal to Bollywood, but it can actually find its own niche audience - and more. Being in Mumbai is a great advantage since many non Marathi speaking people also understand Marathi and know most of the actors too - so a bilingual or a "Mumbai-sh" movie can also work well.
Finally, good stories and good production values will help cinema find audiences - not a subsidy. There is so much out there to tap into. There is a lesson here for Kannada movies too and those trying to promote it.