Tuesday June 25, 2019

Get over yourself for Indian cinema’s progress: KJo to filmmakers

Karan shared that he moderated a panel at the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival

0
//
Karan Johar, Yahoo
  • Karan Johar is one of the Bollywood’ most famous movie director
  • KJo has made many landmark Bollywood drama films
  • He will be representing India in this year’s Berlin Film Festival

Filmmaker Karan Johar is bursting with pride as he is representing Indian cinema at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival. He feels that to achieve a global impact and for Indian cinema to progress, fellow filmmakers need to go beyond themselves and focus on the industry.

Karan Johar is one of the Bollywood's leading film director. IANS
Karan Johar is one of the Bollywood’s leading film director. IANS

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is participating at the European Film Market from February 16-18 in Berlin. The Indian delegation, which also consists of filmmakers like Jahnu Barua and Shaji Karun, is being led by Karan.

“I am having a great time. This is a fantastic coming together of people and exploring possibilities of what we can do with Europe. This is like the beginning of a new era in cinema. I am glad that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is supporting the cause with CII to make sure that we have this kind of global interaction,” Karan told IANS over the phone from Berlin.

While he is excited about his presence there, some of the netizens are not. They thought that “Padmaavat” director Sanjay Leela Bhansali would have been a better fit.

Asked about the haters on social media, the “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” director said: “I would be happy if Sanjay Leela Bhansali was here as well or anybody else. I have always quietly done my own thing whether it is speaking at colleges or attending World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos or film festivals in places like Toronto.”

“I will do my own thing, no matter what people say. There will always be haters on social media but I am one of those few filmmakers who has spoken about Indian cinema on a global platform. I never talk about myself there. I talk about what I represent.”

In fact, Karan says he would be happy if Indian filmmakers like Rajkumar Hirani or Bhansali travelled to different places and spoke about Indian cinema.

KJo will be joining jury of Berlin Film Festival this year. VOA
KJo will be joining the jury of Berlin Film Festival this year. VOA

 

But at a time of digital boom, how important is it to have an Indian presence at international film festivals?

“It is very critical. Many filmmakers travel but we need more of mainstream voices. There is no way that we can achieve that global impact if we just think about ourselves.

“You have to look at the industry as a holistic force, and not as an individual’s work. We tend to do only that.

We have to get over ourselves and go beyond ourselves if we need our cinema to progress the way it has to,” he said.

Also Read: Karan Johar recalled His First meeting with SRK. This is What he has To say

Karan shared that he moderated a panel at the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival.

“We discussed that we are open for business and we also spoke about how Indian cinema has come of age… the new age content. Indian filmmakers are pushing the envelope. There are misconceptions around Indian cinema that has time and again been proven wrong in the last decade and beyond… that we are not just a song and dance filmmaking nation.

“Someone asked me ‘Are you still running around trees’? I am like these misconceptions are almost annoying now because many films have broken new ground and are continuing to leave an impact in Europe,” said the owner of the popular banner Dharma Productions.

Sharing examples, he said: “Films like ‘The Lunchbox’ did phenomenally well in Europe, what’s happening in China with Aamir Khan’s film ‘Dangal’, and a Telugu film like ‘Baahubali’ which went about breaking new grounds. There are several films that are being spoken about.

KJo is super excited about the festival. IANS
KJo is super excited about the festival. IANS

“We have an official selection (at Berlin) of a film called ‘Garbage’ by Q. It’s really exciting. I think many more films should go to festivals in Berlin, Cannes and Toronto. We have to constantly up the game in terms of global participation.”

But the audience often sees a gap between Hindi cinema and film festivals.

“I think that the gap is reducing. There’s always alternate and mainstream. These divides are just made as ‘terminology divide’. For example, ‘Newton’ is a wonderful human story. If you see ‘Dangal’, which is a huge commercial success, is a lovely human saga.

“These are parameters that we make that ‘this is an art house or this is commercial’. No, these are films with stories. If they are beautiful, they will connect with the audience irrespective of whether it is at a festival or cinema hall.” IANS

Next Story

Know How The Content Providers Seem To Have Decided To Capture The Attention Of Masses

There are voices that the OTT content should come under CBFC certification. It is reported that at the CBFC, while the films from big makers are cleared out of turn so that they can meet their scheduled release dates, makers of smaller films have to wait a long time for that kind favour from the censors?

0
movies
Usually, the films with family entertainment, RomComs or mildly plausible action films work (Salman Khan types). The religious and saas bahu family themes have been hijacked by television channels. Pixabay

By Vinod Mirani

When a fad invades India, it does so in hordes. May it be mobile manufacturers, car makers, and so on and so forth. But, now, we have a line-up of streaming content providers. They enjoy an open, unhindered run on your small screens.

Usually, the films with family entertainment, RomComs or mildly plausible action films work (Salman Khan types). The religious and saas bahu family themes have been hijacked by television channels. Presently, though suddenly, we are now into this genre called nationalism/patriotism and biopics. But, that market is flooded and all future announcements for forthcoming films seem to be on patriotism and biopics! Not long before the law of diminishing returns takes over.

In fact, this week’s release, Romeo Akbar Walter, may prove to be an indicator to that considering the lukewarm reception the film has got. The thing is, those people who want to watch these films, they are mainly available in cinema halls. These films would not be as much fun on a small smartphone/tablet screen, also known as Over The Top (OTT).

The content providers seem to have decided to capture the attention as well as the initial eyeballs through a nonconventional way; providing content which is not available on cinema screens. That is to majorly deliver content that is morbid, gory, semi pornographic, drugs and all those things that are repulsive to a normal entertainment seeker and the family audience. Now this is the content designed for personal viewing with no one else watching over your shoulder!

movies
The CBFC does not work on precedents. Does not matter that a number of films, Hollywood as well as Indian with lengthier kissing scenes, have been passed with UA certificate! There is no consistency in policy. Pixabay

The target viewer is the youth and the purpose is to change their taste and preferences. Indian, Spanish, Mexican, all the content that I scanned through had gore, sex, and all that as common as well as the dominant factors. While providing such content, there are also some decent features but not enough yet.

But, how long can this trend last? There was an era when Malayalam films with a lot of titillation and suggestive sex were dubbed in Hindi language and, for the interior audience, interpolation was a regular practice as explicit sex scenes from porn films were added. They worked for a while but faded soon.

So, the issue is, while the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) makes all kinds of demands from a feature film producer before his/her film is approved for public exhibition, this morbid mobile OTT streaming goes unchecked! The CBFC, in fact, has become the moral guardian of the Indian moviegoer; one to check on its ethics and morals!

Pahlaj Nihalani, the recent past Chairman of the CBFC, asked to delete a kissing scene from a Bond film from some 15 seconds to six seconds. Isn’t that ridiculous considering that Nihalani in real life can’t finish a sentence without adding a couple of BCs and MCs no matter if women or kids are around! Is it possible that a single panel member of the examining committee of CBFC, who watches films to rate them, has never watched an illicit porn film? And, to think that these people think a film is kosher only for six seconds, not 15! Do this politically connected panel members really qualify to sit in judgement over what the people should watch? That has been an eternal debate.

The CBFC does not work on precedents. Does not matter that a number of films, Hollywood as well as Indian with lengthier kissing scenes, have been passed with UA certificate! There is no consistency in policy. As is the wont of Indians, a seat of authority robs them of logic. It is a high to be able to judge others, especially when in an official position. As a rule, this lot found fault with every film presented for clearing. For example, the examining committee suggested 14 cuts to a children-oriented film, Mr India, in 1980. I can quote numerous such examples.

But, the issue is about parity. That is to say, while almost all other mediums are free of a watchdog, why are films censored? Why not OTT content? Come to think of it, what does the ‘power’ that the CBFC panel members and the Chairman
amount to when a motely mob negates their certification and blocks a film? Padmaavat, Manikarnika and so many other examples.

movies
Also, considering every other so-called group or organization or a community can ignore CBFC clearance and block a film’s release, the Board means nothing. And, this despite the highest court order ages back that the CBFC is the ultimate authority on cinema content! Pixabay

Coming back to streaming content and films, how come the film, PM Narendra Modi, is denied even the courtesy of a screening for the examining committee yet while the streaming episodes on the same subject, Modi, are already on people’s mobiles? So, how is the CBFC and Censor Certificate relevant anymore when a biopic on a person is blocked indefinitely while the same subject OTT platform, Modi: Journey Of A Common Man, produced by Eros Now, has already started streaming?

There are voices that the OTT content should come under CBFC certification. It is reported that at the CBFC, while the films from big makers are cleared out of turn so that they can meet their scheduled release dates, makers of smaller films have to wait a long time for that kind favour from the censors? In that case, suppose OTT content had to pass through censors, what would be the scene? Would it be the Amazon and Netflix that will get priority or a score of others who apply? After all, big shots get priority! Imagine the chaos that can follow. A 30-minute episode can end up
being chopped off to 15 minutes and the second episode of a series may appear weeks after the previous one!

Also, considering every other so-called group or organization or a community can ignore CBFC clearance and block a film’s release, the Board means nothing. And, this despite the highest court order ages back that the CBFC is the ultimate authority on cinema content! Something needs to be set right in the Cinematograph Act. To start with, the word Digital Content, should be made part of the Act.

@The Box Office
*The latest release, a highly promoted film, Junglee, just about manages to stay afloat. With a meagre opening day collections of three crore, it managed a face-saving weekend of around 13 crore. The film had a tapering effect at the box office with the start of the new week and closed its first week with a total of over 19 crore.

*The other release of the week, Salman Khan’s production, Notebook, failed to make its mark. With an opening weekend of Rs 2.3 crore, it had a low opening week figures of Rs four crore.

Also Read: Cambodia Approves Hydropower Dam, Solar Energy Plant to Meet Electricity Demand

*Akshay Kumar carries Kesari on his popularity though a regional subject with a limited appeal, it collects Rs 19 crore for its second weekend and Rs 30 crore for its second week taking its two week tally to Rs 135 crore.

*Badla has collected Rs 5.3 crore in its fourth week to take its four week total to Rs 79.3 crore. (IANS)