Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia is okay with the guidelines of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) committee, but says he has an issue with its favouritism.
"I do not have any complaints with the CBFC guidelines. As a filmmaker, I will not ask for a U/A certification if I make an adult film.... We have to understand that India is a complex country where we are living with so many religious and cultural sentiments. Having said that, I have an issue with its favouritism," Dhulia told IANS here.
"They (the CBFC) tend to give preference to big producers, big names of the business, which is wrong. I do not support that. Unfortunately, none of the journalists talks about that," he added.
His next film "Raagdesh", set to release on July 28, is based on the Red Fort trials at the conclusion of World War II of officers and soldiers of the Indian National Army whom the then colonial rulers considered rebels.
Asked if the story advocates war and if violence is the solution to any political turmoil, Dhulia said: "We have to understand that Bose's (INA leader Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's) philosophy -- 'Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom' -- was under an extreme situation."
"Through this film, I am not encouraging any warmongering. This is the time we can negotiate to resolve our problems. Unless we understand how much blood loss happened in the process of attaining our freedom from the British Empire, the new generation will not value our freedom," he added.
If the aim is to reach out to the new age audience, why not do it through a web series instead of a film?
"I think the storytelling culture on web series is still catching up. With the audience... I think cinema is still (more) powerful than digital entertainment. Maybe, after five years, things will change," said Dhulia.
The film revolves around three soldiers, played by Kunal Kapoor, Mohit Marwah and Amit Sadh.
Asked how he cast these actors, the filmmaker said: "The resemblance is one of the factors that I kept in mind while casting.
Kunal and Amit are good actors, but Mohit is new and young. I took his audition. He is very talented. It is important for an actor to understand the direction while performing; Mohit has it."
The National School of Drama alumnus shared how his training helped him to become not only a better director but also an actor.
"I know how to make another person act which has come from my training at NSD. I did my specialisation in acting there and directed many actors. I am an average actor too," said the National Award winning filmmaker, who has acted in films like "Manjhi: The Mountain Man" and "Gangs of Wasseypur".
Many script writers are coming up with small-town stories. Asked how welcome is such a change, Dhulia said: "If you are talking about the success of 'Dangal' on the global platform, I would say it is a great sign that such films are doing business abroad. But you see, our Hindi cinema is not being watched by non-Indians that much.
"If they watch it, they do it for the stars. There are people abroad watching films because they are Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan fans, and not a dedicated fan of 'Hindi cinema'."
"It is not like Iranian cinema that has a worldwide audience (not star-based popularity). When it comes to Indian cinema, we have 'The Lunchbox' and 'Masaan'. But if you are talking about the bigger change that has to come from mainstream... it is yet to happen. Experiments are always happening in the 'off-beat' indie films," he said.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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