Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce elects new governing body

BANGALORE: The election for the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) held on 25 September has elected distributor Gangaraju as president.

Sa Ra Govindu from the producers' sector, Vasudevamurthy from the exhibitors sector, and K Janakiram from the distributors sector have been elected vice presidents.

The elected secretaries are B N Gangadhar from the producers' sector, B S Nagaraj from the exhibitors sector and V H Suresh from the distributors sector.

This year, the post for president was reserved for the distributor sector. Electronic voting machines were used for the first time this year. Gangaraju has reportedly been elected by a margin of 214 votes among the approximately 1100 votes that were cast. He secured 650 votes against opponent Basant Kumar Patil's 436 votes. V H Suresh is the only pro-Basant Kumar Patil syndicate member among the seven persons who were declared elected.

"This is a victory for a free mind and free business," Odugouder, president of the Karnataka Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF) from Hubli, told "We expect him to do good for the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry does not know any language or religion, it recognises only art. I'm sure that he will do a lot of good for both the Kannada as well as the non-Kannada film industry. Gangaraju's election marks the defeat of vested interests that have recently been dogging the film industry in Karnataka," he added.

Following the recent dramatic events that have taken place under the aegis of the Karnataka Film Producers Association (KFPA) lead by president Basant Kumar Patil, who was the other contender for the post of the president of the KFCC, many people associated with the film fraternity now expect some respite and maybe an end to the impasse between the Kannada film fraternity and the film industry in the rest of the country. The SIFCC coterie had announced embargoes against the Kannada Film Industry, fraternity and technicians, against Kannada Films.

KFEF has been the only body which put up a strong resistance to the the government-sponsored Pandey committee, which implemented a semi-official seven week moratorium on non-Kannada films from the date their first release in their respective states, and a limit of six prints to be screened in the entire state. This lead to a forced closure of almost seventy theaters in Bangalore city alone. The KFEF retaliated by refusing to exhibit Kannada films in the northern districts of the state. Only the intervention of actor turned politician Ambarish prevented the situation from turning ugly with the KFPA threatening a star studded morcha in Hubli and the Northern districts and that they would force theaters to screen Omkara, a Kannada film released last week.

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