1. What is Suchitra?
Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy Trust was established in 1979 by Suchitra Film Society. Amongst its many objectives, Suchitra was set-up to nurture, nourish and foster the appreciation of art, culture, drama, and cinema in Bengaluru's discerning community. Suchitra Film Society, a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, was established in 1971, with a vision to make cinema accessible to the population at large.
The objectives of Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy Trust are to promote the nascent film society movement, research on cinema, provide necessary facilities for screening of films, establish a library of films, build and run art theatres, and to promote education in and knowledge pertaining to cinema and cultural activities.
2. What is the status of the land on which Suchitra Film Society carries on its activities?
The land in Banashankari 2 Stage is a civic amenity site (CA Site) leased by Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) to Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy Trust for the purposes of constructing a cine academy building and for the general purposes of Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy Trust. Originally leased in 1979 for a period of 30 years, this lease was renewed in 2011 for an additional 30 years, till 2039. The terms of lease make clear that Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy Trust shall not sub-lease the land or create a charge on it, or create third party rights on the land. The object of this restriction is clearly to ensure use of the CA Site is only for the purposes of establishing a cine academy and generally the purposes of the trust.
Constructing a cinema for screening movies and generally achieving the objectives of Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy Trust is inherently included in the lease granted.
3. What is a cine academy and what are its activities?
Even though Suchitra was set up with the objective of establishing a cine academy, this dream will finally become a reality in 2018 after 40 long years, thanks in no small part to the generous contributions of time, manpower, effort and money from Puravankara Limited. The cine academy will be launched as a tie-up with Trans-Disciplinary University (TDU), FRLHT, which is founded by Dr Sam Pitroda and Dr Darshan Shankar in Bengaluru. The cine academy will offer Certificate, Post-Graduate and PhD courses in cinema and related fields.
4. Has the name of Suchitra been changed?
As a charitable trust, Suchitra is dependent on contributions from individual and corporate donors for achieving its objectives and carrying out activities to achieve those objectives. Suchitra is, and has always been, open to associating with reputed entities with the singular objective of creating a world class cinema and cultural academy, which includes constructing and operating a world class, state of the art cinema.
This lack of adequate funding also meant Suchitra was unable to invest in upgradation of the cinema, which would entails planning for its upkeep and maintenance. Suchitra's reliance on infrequent and small donations let it unable to fully achieve its objectives.
Consequently, Suchitra decided to approach Puravankara with a proposal to establish a long-term association, which included a significant investment by Puravankara into re-modelling and constructing a state of the art cinema and associated facilities.
Suchitra also recognizes that building a long term association with an organisation that is willing to make significant contributions into building a thriving cultural and cine academy comes with the implicit understanding that the efforts and contributions of that organisation must be recognized and publicised. Prefixing the name of a donor organisation to Suchitra is one way to recognise the contributions of a donor.
5. How is Puravankara involved?
Suchitra and Puravankara have had a long-standing association. Like Suchitra, Puravankara can be considered one of Bengaluru's institutions and has been a consistent supporter of the arts. With a pre-existing informal relationship, Suchitra thought it fit to request that Puravankara invest in and construct a professional class, state-of-the-art facility, which would include a screening facility, training facility, and other ancillary services and conveniences that would help Suchitra achieve its objective of establishing a world class cinema academy.
Suchitra would like to emphasise that Puravankara's investment into revamping and redeveloping the existing facility has been carried out by them entirely at their cost. Without being asked, Puravankara purchased and installed equipment that far exceeds anything Suchitra had in mind or could have purchased on its own. It is apparent that Puravankara's interest and investment in Suchitra have always been driven by the desire to build a lasting institution; one that will be well-renowned the world over and contribute to the cultural development of society in Bangalore; historically one of India’s most culturally rich and diverse cities.
Recognising Puravankara's substantial investment in Suchitra, the board of trustees felt it would be in Suchitra's best interests to formalize a long-term relationship with Puravankara. Such a relationship would ensure that newly constructed and installed facilities would be used effectively and maintained well. In a nutshell a formal association between Suchitra and Puravankara would ensure sustainability and growth of Suchitra. To this end, an agreement was signed between Suchitra and Puravankara, one of the terms of which agreement was to pre-fix "Puravankara" to Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy, in recognition of the significant investments made by Puravankara into Suchitra. Suchitra also invited Puravankara’s nominee to be a member of the board of trustees. Notwithstanding its presence on the board of trustees, Suchitra would like to point out that Puravankara has not nor will they at any time, or in any way interfere with, object to, or control the decisions or direction taken by the board of trustees for conducting the activities of the Academy.
Till date, Puravankara has invested approximately ₹ 4,00,00,000 (Rupees Four Crore) on redevelopment, reconstruction, and refurbishment of the cinema hall.
6. What does it mean for Suchitra?
Whilst the agreement between Suchitra and Puravankara deals with multiple issues, Suchitra can confirm that nothing contained in the agreement gives Puravankara any ownership rights in the land on which Suchitra is built, control over the board of trustees, or special rights and privileges of any sort. All that Suchitra has done is to recognise Puravankara's contribution but by pre-fixing their name to that of the academy.
On the other hand, Suchitra now has a new cinema theater with state-of-the-art facilities, a renewed energy and enthusiasm to pursue its objectives, and the confidence and comfort that comes from knowing that the future of Suchitra is now secure for the near future. The most significant outcome of the agreement with Puravankara is that Suchitra's long delayed cine academy will now become a reality.
7. What has the money been spent on?
A fully refurbished, re-equipped, air-conditioned, and renovated state of the art 100-seater cinema hall and performance hall with gradient seating, professional class projection facilities, Dolby Atmos sound system, sprung wooden stage floor and world class LED lighting.
A sprung wooden studio floor which can be used for ballet, yoga, martial arts and dance rehearsals.
Fully equipped sound and editing suites.
Editing facilities and workstations for student
Seminar Hall and Class Room for students.
'Odessa' Steps for Platform performances.
Fully functional modern toilets.
Access to all areas for persons with disabilities.
Provision for an outdoor cafe.
Lobby and Holding areas.