Pink helmer Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury believes the audience is rapidly changing today and there is a hunger to watch content-driven cinema and the government can play a key role in helping such films survive.
Aniruddha was part of a panel discussion along with filmmakers Sudhir Mishra and “Thithi” director Raam Reddy at the ongoing 47th edition of international Film Festival of India (IFFI). Raam said smaller films can be made accessible to people if the exhibitors and distributors dedicate a certain number of screens just for them for a year. This will result in good film-viewing culture in people who often miss out on smaller
movies due to competition from big commercial ventures.
Agreeing with Raam, Aniruddha said, “We have to watch good cinema. Everything which is popular is not good and everything which is good cannot be popular. But there has to be some system by the government.” Aniruddha believes things have already started to change as even producers are willing to back content-oriented subjects
“There has to be screens in every state, and (government should) sponsor those screens. People will watch it and pay money… Things are changing today. We are hopeful. A lot of the producers are coming to me, asking to make a ‘real film’.
“People want different kind of cinema, but this has to be supported by the government, by the distributor, then a lot of good things will come,” he said. Mishra said sometimes platforms which provide good content are shut and not always for monetary reasons.
“In Mumbai, the one screen which used to do well and where festivals were held was Aakashwaani theatre but it was shut. I don’t think there was only commercial reason for it. “Like in the old days, when Doordarshan was doing great premiers and very good shows, and suddenly it was shut for some reason. Sometimes you feel there is a conspiracy against good taste.”
Raam said a commercial film like Pink and an indie like Thithi have one thing in common, that is, they both are narratively very strong, something which the audience loves. “‘Pink’ and ‘Thithi’ were narratively strong. I think the audience is now ready for the so called ‘alternate-indies’. Suppose you do a slow film with the sane sensibility, they’re not ready for that. I think we need to set out the audience for that. It’ll take time, but we are on the bridge.”
The “Pink” helmer too believes the audience should voice their feelings regarding the films they want to watch so that the makers can sit up and take note. “It can be my delusion, but what I want is that the audience should come and tell us — the producers and directors- give us more films. This is a very symbiotic relationship. If you want good cinema, we have to deliver it.”