Actors’ salaries too high, says Wikileaks

New Delhi: In its recent revelation, whistleblower Wikileaks have said that the entry of foreign studios and availability of multiple financing options have built up unrealistic expectations as far as actors’ salaries are concerned.

The February 2010 US secret cables with the subject ‘can the Indian film industry go global?’ gives a detailed account of the changing dynamics of world’s largest film industry.

The document states, “The Indian film industry - centered around the Hindi-language industry in Mumbai, known as "Bollywood" - is the world`s largest. Nevertheless, with modest revenues and low profitability, the industry`s impact is more cultural than economic.”

Head honcho of UTV motion pictures, Siddharth Roy Kapur, has been quoted in the cable. Kapur blames the increasing competition within the industry and multiple avenues of financing films. Kapur admits that there is too much money and too many people chasing limited amount of talent.

“Following the Hollywood model, many film and entertainment companies are moving away from an actor/star-based system to a system more reliant on the production company`s brand, and its stable of producers and directors,” Kapur said

Akshaye Widhani, Vice President of Yash Raj Films, was quoted as saying that there is currently a "price bubble" in the film industry. He felt that costs have to decrease by 40 per cent for the film business to sustain itself in the long term. Widhwani also stated that the actors’ expectations would only become more realistic when a one of the major production studios refuses to pay that amount or declares bankruptcy.

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