Regional cinema is giving Hindi industry a run for its money: Shekhar Kapur
The renowned filmmaker headed the selection committeeof the 65th National Awards
Internationally acclaimed Indian filmmaker and the jury chairperson of the 65th National Film Awards, Shekhar Kapur is amazed at the quality and standard of regional cinema and believes that it is giving Hindi cinema a run for its money.
Judging the outcome where most of the categories were dominated by regional cinema, especially by Malayalam, Assamese, Bengali, and Marathi cinema, Kapur said that he was amazed by the quality and standard of regional cinema.
"Ten days of watching films, talking to my jury members. I was stunned at the quality of regional cinema, the cinema that has never come up before," he said before announcing the winners.
"I was stunned after 10 days, and last night I thought it's the right time to make a film in India because the standard of regional cinema is outstanding. I also understand the difficulty in making regional cinema. Giving every deserving filmmaker his or her due and is the least we can do," he added.
Hailing Malayalam cinema especially, Kapur said that "Malayalam cinema is much better than the Hindi film industry... it is far ahead".
The filmmaker said that the most important problem that regional cinema makers face is finance for their projects. "It is so difficult to make regional cinema, there are so many aspects to look into. We are all filmmakers, we know about finance needed. They don't have a Shah Rukh Khan there. It is so difficult," he said.
With his last film in India being Bandit Queen two decades ago, he says it is time for him to make a film here. "Bandit Queen was the last film I made in India, after that I never made a film in India for a reason. I wanted to make better films than Hindi cinema offered me, and for years I wanted to come back here and make films in India. For years, I have been watching films and saying 'the standard of Hindi films is just not good enough. Why should I go back? ...' ten days ago I changed my opinion," said Kapur.
Kapur says that giving awards also means that those films are meant to be seen and that it is important to not go by the words of film critics as they are more or less prejudiced. "Why only allow the film critics to see the films. There is a very thin line between prejudice and judgment. Film critics are usually very prejudiced. You must watch these films. A lot of people have done a lot of hard work," he concluded.