Documentary makers have to pay 25 percent in bribes: Mike Pandey

Panaji, Nov 29 (Calcutta Tube) Documentary filmmakers have to pay officials a flat 25 percent bribe to obtain funds to make films, Indian ace wildlife filmmaker Mike Pandey said Monday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Pandey, a three-time Green Oscar winner, said rampant corruption in India had killed creativity and enterprise.

Replying to a query as to why documentary films made in India were not on par with those screened on channels like ‘Discovery’ and ‘Fox History’, Pandey said big budgets in the West contributed to the huge gap in quality between films made in India and the West.

‘Here a person takes 25 percent of the money to release funds for making films. Then the filmmaker also thinks, ‘He has taken 25 percent without doing anything, why should I do a good job?’. Corruption kills creativity, enterprise here. We have the best technicians in the world, but they are sitting on the streets because they don’t bribe to get jobs,’ Pandey said, adding that only self-esteem in Indian artistes has kept the quality factor going.

Pandey, who recently took over as the president of the Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA), also said that the difference in funding between Indian films and those made abroad shows itself on the quality front.

‘Do you know what is the budget for an average film on ‘Discovery’ or ‘Fox History’ channel? It is $2 million. And do you know how much they pay filmmakers in India for a similar film? Some Rs.8 to Rs.9 lakh spread over several instalments,’ Pandey said.

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