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Thomas dsouza, chief minister siddaramaiah image
Thomas dsouza, chief minister siddaramaiah

Though as of now there is no legal hurdle for anyone to release a film dubbed from another language in Kannada, there certainly are problems. From getting a Censor certificate to theatres, the problems are plenty. A little known rule is about where to get a Censor certificate for a dubbed film. A film that is dubbed into another language has to get the Censor certificate for all the subsequent languages done in the same place where the original film was censored. Thus if a Hindi film was censored in Mumbai and is dubbed in Kannada, the Kannada version has to be censored in Mumbai itself and not in Bengaluru. Likewise for Tamil and Telugu films if dubbed in Kannada have to get it censored in Chennai and Hyderabad respectively. But this poses a problem. The Censor office in Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad will need Kannada-knowing members to watch the film. As of now there are no Kannada speaking members in those Censor offices. So any dubbed film that wants a censor certificate has to wait till such members are added to the panels in those cities.

Second, the entertainment tax will apply to dubbed films. In Karnataka all films are imposed entertainment tax of 30 per cent. But Kannada/Tulu/Kodava/Konkani/Lambani films made in Karnataka are exempt from the tax. 'Made in Karnataka' means at least 50 per cent of the film has to be shot in Karnataka. Thus dubbed films in Kannada will not fall in the category of films exempted from tax. Dubbed films therefore will cost more to watch and on par with non-Kannada films. This also eats into any profit the films make. 

The third problem is of theatres. There are theatres that are constantly demanding new films. As profit making has turned to the opening weekend instead of a long run, many single screen theatres need new films every Friday. But dubbed films may become the last option. In the last one month, original Kannada films are running in some 500 out of the 650 single screens in Karnataka. Whenever a big film of a non-Kannada star releases some of these screens go away from Kannada. But even if that big film is dubbed in Kannada it is unlikely to occupy the screens vacated by original Kannada films. The original Tamil-Telugu-Hindi-English film will release in such screens. The film dubbed in Kannada will at most occupy screens that only screen Kannada films now. How exhibitors behave in such a situation will make or break dubbed films in Kannada.

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