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Filmmaker Balachandra Menon feels freedom is being misused in India

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New Delhi: Veteran Malayalam film personality Balachandra Menon feels freedom is being misused in India and does not believe in the manner in which protests are conducted as they break all permissible levels.

Asked about his concept of “creative freedom” for filmmakers, Menon, who has directed more than 40 films and acted in close to 100, told reporters: “There is a strong social premise in our country and I feel today freedom is being misused and not used. There is a right to protest in our country, but at times, the manner in which the protest is done breaks all permissible levels. I don’t agree with it at all.”

The 62-year-old will be in New Delhi to screen his latest film “Njan Samidhanam Cheyyum” to a select audience. He will also interact with them. The film released last year.

Talking about the information and broadcasting ministry’s decision to set up a new committee to look into the functioning of the censor board, which has been mired in controversies, Menon said: “Over the years I have always said what I wanted to say through my films. I have ensured that I will not allow anyone to question what I tell through my films.”

“I have expressed it well too, and have at times argued for the right to express my creative freedom with the censor board officials, and they have allowed me to express it the way I want it.”

Menon, who entered filmdom in the 1970s and has a distinctive style, also pointed out that there are numerous clubs in the country which insist on a dress code.

“Please don’t misunderstand that I am batting for the censor board. But I say the truth from the bottom of my heart.”

“It was in 2001 that in a leading vernacular newspaper I wrote an open letter to then Kerala chief minister A K Antony saying that some sort of benchmark should be set for TV programs. There are rules and regulations, and we live in a country where the Constitution gives us rights and at the same time there are things that have to be restricted.

“Hence, I believe the law of the land should be adhered to,” added the filmmaker, whose debut directorial “Uthrada Rathri” had an A-certificate.

Commenting on the emergence of film festivals across the country, Menon said: “The concept is good, but it should not be hijacked by people with an agenda. If that happens, then the concept of holding festivals would be lost.”

While he appreciates the proliferation of digital media for the film world, Menon stressed that a film’s success is not dependent on digital media because people come in huge numbers to theaters if a film is good.

“The success depends on the way the film is made and not whether it’s promoted through the digital media.”

About his future projects, Menon, who has introduced hugely popular actresses like Shobana, Parvathy, Karthika, Annie and Nandini, said he was soon going to don the greasepaint in the film “Oozham”.

He will act in the movie along with upcoming star Prithviraj. The film’s shooting will begin in April. (IANS)

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  • P. B. Josh

    That is exactly what the Honorable Judge said in granting six months conditional bail to Kanhaiya Kumar. She termed JNU students misuse of FOE as cancerous organs which need to be amputated.

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Fiction Can’t Beat Facts: Rajkumar Hirani

"People make fictional stories to entertain the audience but a documentary filmmaker makes documentary which is closer to his or her heart."

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Rajkumar Hirani is one of the most talented indian filmmakers. facebook
Rajkumar Hirani is one of the most talented indian filmmakers. Facebook
  • Rajkumar Hirani is famous Indian film director
  • He is currently shotting Sanjay Dutt’s biopic
  • The biopic will star Ranbir Kapoor and is said to based on true facts

Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who is busy shooting for a biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt, says fiction can’t beat facts.

Hirani attended a special screening of the documentary titled “Raising The Bar”, hosted by filmmaker Onir and producer Mitu Bhowmick Lange in association with Australian Consulate General Mumbai on Thursday.

Rajkumar Hirani is working on Sanjay dutt's biopic.
Rajkumar Hirani is working on Sanjay dutt’s biopic.

Asked about the importance of making documentaries, Hirani said: “I feel why should we see only fiction? We should watch documentaries because they can be very interesting as well.”

“Earlier, they never used to get platforms but I think they should get a platform so that more and more people can come forward to make documentaries. I think documentaries are really engaging as they are real, and fiction can’t beat facts.”

The “3 Idiots” director said documentary filmmakers make films that are close to their heart.

“Documentary filmmakers choose subjects which they feel about, which they are affected by or which they have seen around them. So, I feel it’s nice that people come to know about these things,” he said.

Rajkumar Hirani has made brilliant movies like '3 idiots' in the past. Wikimedia Commons
Rajkumar Hirani has made brilliant movies like ‘3 idiots’ in the past. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots: 10 Interesting Fact You Should Know

“People make fictional stories to entertain the audience but a documentary filmmaker makes documentary which is closer to his or her heart.”

Will he ever make a documentary?

Hirani said: “I am really fond of it. I want to make it and I will definitely make it. I have many subjects to tell and when the time will be right, I will speak more about it.”

“Raising The Bar” is a poignant tale which follows awe-inspiring stories of six young individuals with Down syndrome from two different continents who all meet at the World Down Syndrome Congress in Chennai.

Rajkumar Hirani is famous for films which are out of ordinary. Wikimedia Commons
Rajkumar Hirani is famous for films which are out of ordinary. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani Tweets about Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt’s Biopic Shoot

The documentary aims to create awareness and emotionally engage the audience with the universal message of inclusion and diversity, celebrating the differences that make us all unique.

Helmed by National Award-winning director Onir, “Raising The Bar” is a 70-minute documentary which has won several awards internationally. IANS