Kannada film industry off late has got a new financier in the form of Mahesh Kothari who is buying Kannada films even before the completion of the film.
The ‘Avataar’ of Mahesh Kothari as financier since 2003 in the wake of television channels cropping up like mushrooms has helped the mediocre budget film makers is not an exaggeration. Yet Mahesh Kothari is the unsung hero despite of financing over 150 films in six and half years in the name of acquiring television rights.
The private operators in Gandhinagar finance on negative rights. They get Rs.20 lakhs for Rs 1 crore loan given to a Kannada cinema producer. I am in the range of 10 to 12 percent says Mahesh Kothari who is having a clean operation system with an office in Gandhinagar.
Mahesh Kothari is remembered by film makers either in the beginning of the film or after going bankrupt investing on the cinema. Nowadays even at the launch day the name of Mahesh Kothari is put on the posters. One such fine example is ‘Rangappa Hogbitna’…. Kothari is not interested in such names. I tell them not to put my names but they try to please me. I can understand the motivation.
Although in low scale in the television right acquiring business since 1995 the flourishing business started from 1995. The highest television right today is for Puneeth Rajakumar film. It is Rs.180 crores. For Darshan starring ‘Porkhi’ it was Rs.1.37 crores that went 8 lakh lesser than the already agreed amount of Rs.1.45 crores.
With such huge amount given by the television channel owners in future the film production also taken up by them what will be the situation of the people like Kothari was the question came straight to him.
The television channels have the brain power, money power to invest nearly Rs.1.25 crores on their film on an average and they have the man power and of course the cameras, studios etc. This thought is doing rounds in some of the television channel offices too.
The new concept would not work out according to Mahesh Kothari. The only power that counts for anyone is ‘Luck Power’. Television channels like Sun Network, Star channels, Zee Kannada might opt for such opinions doing rounds but it is not feasible for them in Karnataka says Kothari.
From acquiring a television right of a Kannada film from the telecast of it they make double the revenue in the first round. In the subsequent rounds it is a profit only for the channel bosses says Kothari.
Meanwhile Mahesh Kothari has recently acquired his 150th film satellite rights and his old score with BR Keshava has been settled.
The maximum of BR Keshava films are sold to Mahesh Kothari and when the channels are not ready to buy his films Kothari landed in problem to give agreed money to BR Keshava. With this last year BR Keshava came before the media and later learnt that he has made a mistake taking on Mahesh Kothari.
Recently Mahesh Kothari and KFCC received apology letter from BR Keshava for his utterances. BR Keshava had not spoken about this particular issue. But it came from Kothari side to this journalist.
Doing the business for television and making a contract with producers of Kannada cinema has put Kothari in fix? Yes eight to ten of the films that are in my kitty are not sold for the television channels. It is laying untouched. I have to work out some other schemes to avoid losses.
Loss even bothers you? No. I don’t do business for losses. I am careful in that aspect.