Veteran actor and former CBFC chairperson Sharmila Tagore late Thursday asserted that filmmakers need an enabling environment if the country wants quality cinema to blossom.
Tagore’s strong comment was a part of her speech after she accepted a special honour at Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival for her contribution to Indian cinema.
The two-time National Award winner, who has worked in Bengali and Hindi cinema for over four decades, said that working simultaneously in two film industries expanded her horizon as an artiste and a human being, forcing her to look beyond cultural differences.
“Everytime I worked in Calcuta in a Bengali film, they would say ‘this is not a Bombay film, can you please pause, think, reflect and then say the lines.’ When I worked here, they said ‘this is not a Ray film, can you please speed up a bit?’
“I want to highlight that to make meaningful cinema, we really need an enabling environment and freedom to express,” Tagore said to rousing applause.
Another noteworthy remark that the actor made was about the need for better roles for female actors, regardless of their age. Coming from Tagore, who has been one of Hindi cinema’s few female actors that got meaty roles, of course this particular comment had a lot of weight.
“I accept this award in all humility and look forward to films by young directors who make movies with truth and credibility. They should create a vision for our future, which will have bigger, better and stronger roles for women, even elderly women,” she said.
Sharmila Tagore was felicitated by superstar Aamir Khan.