Cinema can integrate people: Big B

Chennai, Dec 20 (IANS) Megastar Amitabh Bachchan feels that cinema is the only medium in the world that has the power to assimilate people from different backgrounds for one common purpose.

"No matter to which race, creed or religion one belongs to, cinema has the power to unite people irrespective of their backgrounds. It's strange but true that when we sit in a darkened room gazing at moving images on the giant screen, we're not bothered who's sitting next to us", Amitabh told reporters here Thursday.

He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 10th Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF), where he was invited as the chief guest.

"There was a time when cinema was not accessible to everyone. I as a kid was only allowed to watch a film after my parents vetted the movie I was about to watch. But, today, films are accessible to everyone. Thanks to film festivals such as CIFF, cinema has become a parallel culture in India," he said.

The eight-day-long event, which came to a close Thursday was kicked off on Dec 13. It screened 133 foreign, 12 Tamil and 9 Indian panorama films.