New Delhi: The ecoysystem for filmmaking in India is prohibitive and only supports big budget films, says director Bikas Ranjan Mishra, whose debut project ‘Chauranga’ released earlier this month.
“Independent cinema in India is growing and we take great credit, but it is an individual enterprise… The courage of some very passionate producers. The entire ecosystem is very prohibitive and it supports (only) big budget films,” Mishra told IANS.
Mishra also criticised the exorbitant tax rates on cinema in the country.
“The government must re-evaluate its approach. Cinema is not like liquor or cigarette that you tax it. It is a part of our culture, it is our heritage.
“Half the money goes into taxes… Almost 40 percent of the budget of the film goes to the government because of service tax. Every single body of the government will chop a bit out of the film, and whatever remains, government will again tax you with the entertainment tax,” Mishra rued.
Talking about the issues with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which had chopped off a few intimate scenes from ‘Chauranga’ and gave it an ‘A’ certificate, Mishra said that he was surprised that a sex comedy like “Mastizaade” and a “serious” film like ‘Chauranga’ were given the same certificate.
Moreover, Mishra said, it’s not just the censor board, but other government bodies like the Animal Welfare Board of India, which create issues for filmmakers.
“The Animal Welfare Board will evaluate your script, will allow you to shoot certain scenes and not to shoot certain scenes… It’s pre-censorship. Every body of the government wants to poke their nose into your work,” he said.
The director also said that making ‘Chauranga’ was only possible due to “passionate individuals” like Sanjay Suri and Onir who “don’t care about Rs.100 crore or Rs.500 crore”.
“If we create such an environment where filmmakers and writers will think thrice before writing a film, then how can you write in this country,” he questioned.