Producers miffed, biopics’ fate uncertain

  • Smriti Kak Ramachandran
  • Updated: May 25, 2016 10:32 IST

NEW DELHI: The producers roped in to create biopics on right-wing stalwart Deendayal Upadhyaya and social reformer Savitribai Phule for Doordarshan are miffed with the national broadcaster for suggesting a cut in their pay, which has cast a shadow over the fate of the two documentaries.

The biopics are among several other programmes that could either go- off air or be shifted to non-prime slots after broadcasting agency Prasar Bharti decided to change its policy and auction prime slots. The move to shift from commissioned programmes to slot sales has been reportedly done to raise more funds for the public broadcaster.

In the wake of the protests by several production houses, the agency has offered to air the programmes after reducing their creators’ payments by as much as 30%.

While Prasar Bharti sees its offer as a ‘win-win’ situation for all, producers including Arun Govil and Rupesh Govil have expressed their discontentment with the decision.

Actor-turned producer Arun Govil, who is working on the Deendayal Upadhyaya biopic, told HT that he was not happy with the huge pay cut. Govil was supposed to be paid ` three lakh per episode, which will now be reduced to almost ` two lakh. “

“Cutting costs for a period drama is not an option. There is so much work that has gone into research. People don’t work for free. Besides, reducing costs will mean cutting corners, I don’t want to sully my name by coming up with a shoddy production,” he said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a producer told HT that he had agreed to accept the offer as he was “left with no option”.

“My project was waiting for approval for over two years. I have spent a lot of money on the pilot, if I don’t accept the pay cut I will lose a lot of money. Most of the producers who have agreed with Prasar Bharti’s suggestion have done so under duress,” he said.

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