Bengaluru: Among the 200 screenings as part of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes) this year, you might have expected a Tulu film to be a bit lost. But Pingara has received a massive response from movie buffs.
Tulu is a language spoken in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udipi and parts of Chikkamagaluru districts. Since the language covers a very small geographical area of Karnataka and is spoken by a small population, availability of theaters is difficult for Tulu movies.
The Tulu film industry has been very vocal about this problem during the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes).
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Avinash Shetty, producer of Pingara, said, "Tulu films find it difficult to release all over Karnataka. We know after the release of Ulidavaru Kandante and Rangi Taranga that people in south Karnataka are very interested in watching movies which reflect a Mangaluru culture. So we are trying to reach out to people with Tulu language movies."
There were 15 Tulu films released in 2018, and 24 in 2019. But visibility and reach is always a problem. Tulu films can count on barely 60 screens (spread over 13 centres) that will show them.
"Our market is quite small as the language is spoken mainly in the Mangaluru region. We get requests for theatrical releases from people in South Karnataka but the problem arises when we approach theatre owners. We are always told to approach them only if the movie has already done well in the coastal area. So our industry needs more support from the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC)."
Tulu cinema reached a milestone recently by releasing its 100th film. It took 47 years to achieve that feat. Tulu-speaking people are spread over different parts of the country, with a heavy concentration in West Asia, in addition to the Tulu homeland of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and north Kasaragod in Kerala.
Pingara revolves around people who worship Daiva (evil spirits) and offers something fresh. The film is directed by Preetham Shetty and stars Neema Ray and Sharan Shetty in lead roles....