A bitter-sweet year for Marathi filmmakers

As 2012 comes to an end, there are many insiders in the Marathi film industry who think this year was a bitter-sweet experience for them.

With more than 50 mainstream films releasing this year, only a handful have done well on the box office. Among them are Kaksparsh and Shaala .

"Filmmaking is not just about scriptwriting, shooting, editing and releasing. It is a lengthy process that requires time, energy and revolve around various economic, social, and political contexts, using a variety of technologies and cinematic techniques," says Sarvesh Parab, director of the critically acclaimed film, Satya, Savitri ani Satyawan.

"But apart from the theory, which almost all budding Marathi filmmakers know it backwards, the business of entertainment also revolves around creativity, dedication and most importantly, publicity," Parab said.

"Well, 2012 has been a good year for me personally, because my film Kaksparsh, which despite revolving around the tumultuous events in a Chitpavan Brahmin family, set around 1930-1950 in Konkan a subject that many producers believed that would not sell did well," says Mahesh Manjrekar, director of the film.

With films like Night School, which deals with the lives and the hardships faced by the students of a night school who work for more than 8-10 hours before coming to schools; and the dance-themed film Aayna Ka Bayna, doing well in multiplexes as well as smaller cities, the producers are looking forward to making more diverse films.

But with increasing budgets and government funding, Parab warns that most new producers forget to account for the marketing and publicity cost that a film has to incur after the shoot.

"Earlier a film that would be made at Rs 35 lakh, would now cost up to Rs 1.25 crore. But a producer needs to understand that the apart from the production and shooting costs, another Rs 35-40 lakh have to be spent on marketing and publicity," he says.

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