For the Kannada film industry, the year 2016 had been a year when the industry attempted to set new benchmarks for itself.
With a whopping 180 films released till December 2016, Sandalwood has now set a record for itself, by releasing the highest number of films as compared to the previous years.
The Kannada film industry has often been termed as a "small industry," as the number of films released per year stood nowhere on par with the other south Indian industries.
In a first, Sandalwood has set its own record, by releasing nearly 40 films more than the previous year.
Sa Ra Govindu, Chairman of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), said that the industry has fared extremely well, as compared to its own earlier performances.
Speaking to The News Minute, Sa Ra Govindu said that 2016 shall be seen as a year that has set new targets for the industry.
â€śAs compared to nearly 130-140 films in 2015, nearly 180 films were released in 2016. The increase in the number of films is definitely a positive boost for the Kannada film industry. What marks the year 2016 is the release of several small budget films that has not only added to the number of films, but also contributed to the quality of the industry,â€ť Sa Ra Govindu said.
April and September-October saw the maximum number of releases during the time of Deepavali and Ugadi. Though few in number, the year 2016 saw more of super hit films as compared to the previous year, said a member of the chamber.
They say that the audience have been more receptive of films from debut filmmakers, making the year 2016 different from the others.
While the year 2007 saw the release of 71 Kannada films, the increase in the number of films over the years, have gradually but steadily increased.
According to a report published by The Hindu, while 117 films were released in 2014, the number rose to 137 in the following year.
Members of the Film Chamber say that nearly 5 films are expected to release in January this year. However, as the pressure to maintain or release more number of films in 2017 seems to be mounting on the industry, the presence of new comers and debut filmmakers is seen as crucial.
Manager of the film chamber MB Chithananda pointed out that the effects of demonetisation on the film industry is yet to be seen in the new year.
"The money market is very tight now, people are not willing to invest money in films because of demonetisation and related issues. Whether the new year can bring out more films or not can be ascertained only after the month of March," he said.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce lifted the temporary ban on the film Masti Gudi on Friday, allowing the filmmakers to continue shooting the remaining part of the film. The film was stalled following the death of two stunt men- Anil and Uday- after a helicopter stunt went horribly wrong.
"Major portion of the film has already been shot, they need a couple of days more to complete the remaining part of the film. Post that, the film is expected to take another 2 months before it hits the theatres," Sa Ra Govindu said.