Gujarati filmmaker Manoj Patel has filed a petition seeking directions to the state information and broadcasting department and film screening committee to re-evaluate his film. He has sought that in accordance with the 2019 policy he be given the enhanced subsidy amount of Rs 20 lakh or 75 percent of the film cost. Patel produced and directed the film Commitment in 2016.
This is not the first time that the issue of the state government’s subsidy to Gujarati films reached the Gujarat High Court. Earlier too filmmakers had alleged a policy of picking and choosing adopted by the authorities in extending financial assistance at whim, by applying the 2016 and 2019 subsidy policies.
Patel had earlier filed a petition highlighting the differential treatment of films by the film screening committee, but he was asked to make a fresh representation before the authorities.
Patel received Rs 5 lakh assistance under the 2016 policy—Integrated Excellence for Gujarati Movies—after his movie was adjudged to be ‘Grade D’ with a score of 46 out of 100 from the film screening committee. The filmmaker claimed that after the launch of the new policy, 21 films were given financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each according to the 2019 policy, though the applications were made under the 2016 subsidy policy. Also, the films did not even fall in the Grade D category with scores lower than 40 and some were not even eligible for subsidy under the 2016 policy.
This is nothing but arbitrariness, he contended in his petition.
The HC is likely to hear the case on Friday.
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