The wait to have a film city in Karnataka gets longer as the government has now ruled out the possibility of having it at the Roerich and Devikarani estate, which is spread across 468 acres near Tataguni of Kanakapura. The project has been dropped because the area has a rich bio-diversity and acts as an elephant corridor and houses leopards, sambar, deer, wildboars and various other wildlife species. So, the idea was opposed by environmentalists.
Speaking to us, Minister for Tourism, CT Ravi said, “The film city will not come up at Roerich and Devikarani estate. As per the court directive, the estate has to be protected. The previous government had granted land for a film city in Mysuru, but we are still not sure on how to use the land. We definitely want to have a film city in Karnataka and there are no second thoughts about that. A decision regarding the project will be taken in a cabinet meeting.”
The previous government had proposed to set up the film city on 110 acres of land at Himmavu, near Nanjangud of Mysuru, as the heritage city was considered as the ideal location for film shoots. The city possesses over 100 locations within 15 to 20-kilometer radius. As Mysuru shares close proximity with Bengaluru, many Sandalwood film makers were thrilled with the idea of having a film city in Mysuru. Even the processes of handing over the land to the tourism department was complete. Veteran Sandalwood director SV Rajendra Singh Babu said, “As the traffic congestion is less in Mysuru, it is easy to change the location. So, we had proposed to have the film city in Mysuru, where even Hollywood movies have been shot. The pristine environment too makes Mysuru an ideal location to shoot.”
The government had even planned to set up a film university at Ramangaram, at a cost of `30 crore, to provide training in acting, direction,
photography and production for budding film makers, but it is yet to materialise.