New Delhi: It’s the 100th year of Indian cinema, and Delhi celebrated the undying spirit of the film industry in its own way. The PHD Chamber of Commerce in association with the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, organised a one day film festival which was attended by film personalities such as Sharmila Tagore, Shyam Benegal, Farooque Sheikh and Sanjay Suri.
Delhi has given some of the proficient people to the film industry including Bollywood’s king Shah Rukh Khan, Om Puri, Akshay Kumar, Irrfan, and Naseeruddin Shah. Indian cinema has played a stellar role in communicating the beauty, mystical spirituality, coherence of religious approaches and the emergence of a powerful middle class to the world. The auspicious occasion marked the presence of actress Sharmila Tagore, Padma Shri Shyam Benegal and highly acclaimed actor Farooque Sheikh.
Some of the celebrated movies were screened at the event, Shyam Benegal's 'Manthan' and Farooque Sheikh starrer 'Lahore' stole the show. Briefing media on the industry's achievement, Benegal shared his experience. He spoke on 'Manthan', which is an example of collective vision, he said, "I have had made certain documentaries on this subject of 'milk co-operative', and I always wanted to make a film on it, but I knew that these documentaries won’t be seen by the general pubic in large but I didn’t have money to produce it, so Dr Verghese Kurien(founder of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation) asked five hundreds thousand farmers to pay Rs 2 per person and this is how they became the producers of the film".
This incident paved a path for him and suddenly Benegal found himself among the prominent filmmakers of India. The director also spoke on the financial problems he and other filmmakers face while making any offbeat films. When asked on the kind of difference he finds in today’s cinema, he said, "Now you have much larger number of young people today, who are making many films and it's your decision to agree or disagree with those films but they are making films which we never saw in the past. Nothing really happened after 1970's, in Indian cinema because those talented young people who tried to make one of those films never came forward because of disadvantages like either in terms of release or money, all sorts of problems caught up, debts to pay and all. The generation before could not make film because simply they were not having any opportunity. Today the opportunity is there so you see 'Gangs of Wasseypur'.
Benagal was also asked to comment on 'Ek Tha Tiger', "He (Kabir Khan) is a very intelligent director, he may be making these kind of films but I know from where his heart actually belongs and the kind of documentaries he make, he made some of the very great documentaries, he is a very sophisticated person, he is not a play-by-night operator or he is not just there to do something escapist”.
From 'Pather Panchali' to '3 Idiots', Indian Cinema is an amalgamation of different forms of art works. Though the condition is still adverse, the mindsets of the people are changing towards the aberrant works. Farooque Sheikh also exchanged the note on the changing trend, he said, "Indian cinema provides space to every kind of work, and there should be, but the film should be like, that when viewers leave auditorium they take something with them, cinema is such a powerful medium. I think it should also give you a little more than merely what we today call 'entertainment', the subject should be chosen carefully".
Farooque also showed his disappointment towards the success rate of this kind of films, he said, "My disappointment is that, those people who go to cinema and give Rs 200 or 300 or 500 or sometimes even more, don't demand enough from the filmmaker in return to their ticket, one should ask that what a filmmaker is giving to you, you have given so much of money as well as your time, but what you are getting out of it. Audiences should be discerning and demanding for intelligent cinema. It's a buyer's market".
He shared a small incident on the kind of problem faced by the makers of offbeat films, he said, "one of the noted director of industry, Satyajit Ray once told me, ki jab bhi nayi film shuru karta hu, mujhe katora lekar shuru karna padta hai (The need to beg arise every time I start making a film). Filmmaking is the most expensive art form."
Indian cinema is seeing the new changes, and viewer's response has made it more engrossing, entertaining and a value for money cinema. Such kind of wave is seen after a decade in the Hindi cinema. Different type of cinema is getting appreciation, be it 'Gangs of Wasseypur', 'I Am', 'I Am Kalam' or be it 'Shuttlecock Boys'. Indian cinema will always remain the artist factory; many have passed but much more astounding works are yet to come.