Interesting study on the economics of regional films: A case study of Gujarati films by Dr. Kartikey Bhatt

Significance of study

The entertainment industry is evolving globally, and as a part of it, the film industry has developed. Therefore research on the subject is in demand. The market of Indian films overseas and foreign films in India has developed after the implementation of globalization and privatization. There have been technological advances in films whereas the socio-economic scenario of India has changed simultaneously. Amidst these changes, it has become necessary to study the problems faced by the film industry; especially the regional film industry, as the industry has made a notable contribution in generating employment and income.

The film industry is a cultural business, and to inhibit centralization of cultural and economic power the development of regional film industry becomes vital. Accordingly, this research has been carried out to study factors and causes that prove to be a hurdle for the economic state and development of regional film industries in India. This research will prove to be an aid in the form of reference and guideline to the people related to the film industry and to those who are involved in the business. Limited study has been carried out on the regional film industry and the economic problems faced by the industry. This research is made on economic problems of the regional film industry – making a case study of Gujarati film industry. It is the first research study made on this subject and will prove to be helpful for the people of Gujarati film industry. This is the first attempt on studying if the basic theories and principles of economics are applicable to the film industry, and can be of significant importance in aiding the government to present better economic policies in the future.

Certain research highlights

The primary objective of this study, “The economic problems of regional film industries: a case study of Gujarati film industry” is actually to examine the basic principles of economics in the context of Gujarati film industry.

Cinema satisfies our psychological need to be entertained and is obviously related to art. However, films are also produced to earn money because money is invested in film- production. For the investor, film-making is production and it is a production aimed to earn a profit. Art may be important in the production of a film but delivering it to the people entails marketing and management skills. Film production, distribution, and exhibition are economic activities and therefore they have economic issues and problems. Solutions to economic problems can be found only from Economics.

Following are the secondary objectives to find the economic potential of an industry suffering from economic downfall:

  1. To do a comparative study of the global film industry, the Indian film industry and the regional film industry with Gujarati film industry.
  2. To examine the economic effects of government policies on the film industry.
  3. To examine the economic problems of the Gujarati film industry and to draw the attention of the stakeholders in the industry towards them.
  4. To find and show solutions to the economic problems of the industry, keeping in mind several special features of the industry.
  5. To offer suggestions, guidelines to the government that may help it in formulating appropriate policies.
  6. The purpose of this study is to find and highlight the positive aspects of the Gujarati film industry so that it may help in increasing the income and prosperity of the people dependent on it.

Thus, the study aims at examining questions such as whether the theoretical economics is applicable to the film industry which is considered an area of art and individual choice; whether the film industry also has to face problems that are generally faced by the manufacturing industry and also at finding solutions to these problems. Every community has its own language and a language for expression. The regional films are not just economic productions but are documents of their culture and civilization. This study aims at the preservation of these documents.

Some interesting observations of Gujarati film industry Timeline:1932 – 2011

After several sample surveys and interviews during the research, certain observations were made, which are as follows:

  1. Gujarati people want to watch Gujarati movies but do not get films according to their preferences and choices.
  2. Gujarati people want to watch Gujarati films but cannot do the same on account of lack of proper arrangements and infrastructure for viewing them.
  3. The film industry is trapped between the cost of film production and the purchasing power of an average Gujarati film viewer.
  4. The condition of Gujarati film industry can be improved if the upper middle class of Gujarati audience is drawn towards Gujarati films.
  5. In the film industry, the one who opts for a new venture would earn a profit.
  6. The commercial success of a film-industry is related to the number of films produced.
  7. A purposeful use of the fiscal policy of the government can help the regional film industry.
  8. Technological advances affect the conditions of the film industry.
  9. The film industry has special features.
  10. The regional film industry is affected by the changing structure of the entertainment industry.

In conclusion, this research is one of the first of its kind to elaborate upon the economic theories and their analysis in reference to the film industry. Especially for studying the problems faced by regional film industries and providing their solutions, this is an initiative research.

Perspectives like women-centric films, other regional film industries, policies of state government regarding film production and exhibition, various strategies of film exhibition are yet to be studied in detail. Fundamental theories of demand, supply and theory of industrial economics and market study remain to be studied in detail. Novel avenues arise from this research for the economic analysis and study of the film industry in terms of fundamental theories discussed previously. Being a preliminary and fundamental research, many aspects remain unexplored in detail, to which our research could prove to be a reference.

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Published by Darshak

PhD candidate enrolled at the University of Groningen and the University of Sao Paulo, pursuing a project on designing safe bio-therapeutics for cancer treatment. Find @DarshakWrites

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