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Is Bollywood loosing pan-Indian dominance?

By Priyanka Khanna, IANS

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Bollywood seems to be losing its pan-Indian dominance.

Quite apart from the Kannada film industry's diktat to delay release of films in other languages, Bollywood is also loosing appeal in places where regional cinema is very strong - like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

Trade observers say cinegoers, especially in south India, do not find Mumbai films any better than their regional fare - in terms of content or technique - leading to the market for Mumbai films floundering for almost two years now.

What is worse, with VCDs and DVDs of Bollywood movies available for the asking anywhere in the country almost as soon as they hit the Mumbai market, people tend to think more than twice about shelling out extra money to watch a Hindi movie, trade analysts say.

Besides, states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu also tax Hindi films heavily. Hindi film distributors in these states, as also in Kerala, have burnt their fingers over films with huge star casts that have flopped miserably, analysts say.

Hollywood films dubbed in Hindi have also hit Bollywood adversely and prompted the All-India Film Producers Council to appeal to the government to ban such films.

The council says foreign films attract larger audiences and eat into the Hindi film market with distribution rights for each territory sold for as cheap as.Rs 1.8 million.

Separatist movements have also affected Bollywood dearly in states like Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

Movie halls and cable operators in insurgency-hit Manipur have stopped telecasting Hindi films after a guerrilla ban. A spate of explosions targeting moviegoers in Assam has led to most cinemas running near empty.


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