Actress Frieda Pinto hit the proverbial nail on the head when she steadfastly denied any interest in Bollywood.
“We are apparently celebrating 100 years… but those 100 years were not just today’s concept of Bollywood,” said Pinto in an interview with tabloid!. Her take? There’s more to Indian cinema than traditional Bollywood musicals.
“Remember there were films that came from Satyajit Ray and Guru Dutt ... but those films are never included when we use the word Bollywood … I am happy to be a part of Indian cinema but just don’t categorise it just as Bollywood, because you are insulting a whole bunch of filmmakers,” said Pinto.
We couldn’t have put it better. tabloid! felt those undercurrents when we posed the question: Is the celebration of 100 years of cinema, merely a statistic or a milestone to the filmmakers who had descended upon the Dubai International Film Festival. The verdict delivered from actors and directors were in contrast but concise. While directors who have stayed away from mainstream films were unanimous in their declaration that all that hype surrounding 100 years was unnecessary, the actors felt that their lives have become easier now.
We give you the round up straight from the artiste’s mouth...
Who: Frieda Pinto, actress
You know her from: Slumdog Millionaire, Trishna, Black Gold
“It is a great time in Indian cinema. That existence of parallel cinema is becoming more prominent. I am craving to be a part of good Indian cinema.”
Who: Ashim Ahluwalia, director
You know him from: Miss Lovely, the drama about the seedy erotic industry set in the 1980s Mumbai is taking the film festival circuit on storm. It competed in this year’s Cannes Un Certain Regard section.
“100 years celebration has no relevance. What we should do is to review films in the last 100 years. I would review it and say how tragic it is to know that we haven’t made as many interesting films as we should have.”
His way forward: “I am hopeful that filmmakers like myself are comfortable to be a part of Indian milieu and are comfortable making films that pushes the boundaries of what an Indian film can be. We needn’t be always be stuck with those formulaic Bollywood ideas or the Western idea of Slumdog Millionaire films. Let’s not fall into these two clichés. Let’s root for constructive cinema.”
Who: Rajkumar Yadav, actor
You know him from: Shahid and Love Sex Aur Dhoka
“It’s a landmark achievement. We have come a long way and it’s a great period to be an actor. There was a time when actors didn’t have access to directors. Today, it’s become more transparent and it’s not unrealistic to expect a big director to give young actors an opportunity to work with them. Our work has become streamlined. The era of superstars is also coming to an end, every big star out there is willing to experiment. It’s a sign of great things.”
Who: Saurav Sarangi, director
You know him from: Char ... No Man’s Island. His film credits also include his award-winning debut film Tusukatha and his documentary Bilal that travelled to over 50 international festivals and won 17 awards.
“It is just a static. Indian cinema is an evolving medium. So it doesn’t matter if we are aged 70 or 90. I consider it a milestone only if there’s a big change. When the silent era ended and the sound came, that was a milestone. Now, the advent of 3D is a milestone. There are more important issues to be looked into rather than celebrating 100 years.”
Who: Anand Gandhi, director
You know him from: Ship Of Theseus, his debut feature that explores the question of identity, mortality and beauty through three conflicting characters.
“Is it a statistic or a milestone has a bit of rhetoric in it. I don’t know. We haven’t come a long way because there’s so much cinema to bet discovered and invented.”