Onir, Anusha protest to save indie cinema

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) A day ahead of the National Film Awards, filmmakers, including Onir, Anusha Rizvi, Ashvin Kumar and Aamir Bashir protested here Thursday as part of Save Indie Campaign, demanding "more screens" and "space" for independent movies.

Save Indie Campaign is primarily an online petition, backed by as many as 62 filmmakers.

National-award winning filmmaker Onir, who fronts the campaign, said independent films, which win prestigious awards nationally as well as internationally, often end up struggling to find space and audience here.

"The question is what happens to these films? Where do these films go? They are welcomed heartily at the international film festivals, but back in their home country, the films struggle to release. Unfortunately, we lack space and audience here," Onir, who is credited with films like "I AM" and "My Brother...Nikhil", said here at the India Habitat Centre.

He rued how filmmakers today are "divided into two categories - serious and commercial".

"It's high time! We want to be recognised as artists. We need more screens and financial support from government," said Onir

He also pointed out that members of the film industry pay the highest tax, but get nothing in return.

Voicing same feelings, Anusha Rizvi of "Peepli Live" fame said: "We pay the high taxes but when it comes to providing support, government organisations like the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) backs out. A film is banned if it is based on Indian political history, if it shows sex or violence or even if it's named Kashmir."

"Whereas abroad entertainment tax is saved to fund producers or moviemakers. They not only return the amount, also encourage them to make more high-quality cinema."

She also alleged that censor board has a "contradictory attitude towards the Indian film industry".

"We are creative people and they try to become a political entity and restrict us from showing what needs to be shown to the viewers," she added.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ashvin Kumar, known for making "Inshallah Kashmir" and "Inshallah Football", says there's a "revolution" going on in the Indian film industry.

"More and more people are getting into independent film making. Even people in villages make films using mobile phones. It's high time short films, docu-dramas should be encouraged," said Kumar whose 15-minute film "Little Terrorist" has been nominated for the Oscars.

Kumar feels that people should "change their mentality" and should not tag independent films as "boring".

"People should be made aware of the kind of cinema being produced today. I go to see films at the international film festivals. Amazing films they show. I stay in Goa, so when I go to attend the annual Goa film festival, the focus is more on Bollywood biggies rather than showing good films.

"Organisers say press will come only if stars will be here, they don't really pay much attention on the new filmmakers or the kind of cinema being showcased there.

"We don't want to go to the Cannes International Film Festival and spend Rs.200 crore on partying after the event, we would rather spend Rs.200 crore on films or theaters."

Amlan Dutta, Shonali Bose and Shivendra Singh, among other independent moviemakers, were present at the India Habitat Centre.


Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • I'm here to share love: Atif Aslam on performing in India

    Indore, April 26 (IANS) Popular Pakistani musician Atif Aslam might not have been able to entertain his fans in Pune with his rock numbers and melodious tracks as his concert was cancelled by the Shiv Sena, but he says he has no grudges and has only love to share with his Indian fans. I love my fans and I like being in India. …

  • Anupam Kher's TV show returns, to tell more inspiring tales

    New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Veteran actor Anupam Kher is returning with the second season of "The Anupam Kher Show...Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai". He says there will be more inspiring stories to tell. He made his TV production debut with the first season of the show last year on channel Colors. It highlighted inspirational stories of popular Bollywood celebrities, who will spoke about their life's challenges and testing times. …

  • Evelyn 'obsessed' with Ram's 'Dil Ki Baatein'

    Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Actress Evelyn Sharma, who will be seen portraying an aspiring rockstar Naina in comedy caper film "Kuch Kuch Locha Hai", says she is hooked to co-star Ram Kapoor's ongoing TV show "Dil Ki Baatein". The 28-year-old, who has appeared in films like "Yaariyan" and "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani", doesn't watch many Hindi shows, but she feels Ram is doing an "outstanding job" in the Sony Entertainment Television show. "Right now I am obsessed with the show 'Dil Ki Baatein'. I …

  • Better to open a shop than do TV soaps, says Sunil Grover

    Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) He has been tickling the audiences' funny bone with his act as Gutthi in "Comedy Nights With Kapil", but actor Sunil Grover says fiction dramas are not his cup of tea, and that he wouldn't opt for them even if he has no money to pay his EMIs some day. Sunil told IANS: "I have not been doing much on small screen apart from 'Comedy Nights With Kapil'. "I have not done fiction (soaps), and here in India, the kind of routine, the number of days you have to shoot... it's …

  • Pop culture reminds Ben Stiller of his childhood days

    New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Actor Ben Stiller, who stars together with actress Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple in comedy-drama film "While We're Young", says the pop culture reminds him of his "childhood and youth days". …

  • Sunny Leone likes live audience connect

    Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Close on the heels of the release of comedy caper "Kuch Kuch Locha Hai", actress Sunny Leone performed live during a promotional event here along with singer Shraddha Pandit. Sunny, who was also joined by actor Ram Kapoor, debutant Navdeep Chhabra and director Devang Dholakia for the event, had an interactive session with the fans and was also seen giving autographs and clicking photographs with them. It was a great idea to have a promotional activity," Sunny, who …

  • Shaadi-e-Khas: Manage weddings digitally

    New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Whether you're a wedding vendor, wedding planner, the bride, the groom or the parents of the couple-to-be, help is at your hand with Shaadi-e-Khas, an online wedding management software which enables users to ease the process of planning and organising marriage-related events. Bharat Kanodia, CEO, Shaadi-E-Khas, describes it as an Enterprise Resource Planning system for weddings. The idea for the platform dawned upon Kanodia when he was entrusted with the …

  • 'Jannat' director Kunal Deshmukh 'safe' in quake-hit Nepal

    Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Bollywood director Kunal Deshmukh was in Kathmandu when the 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. "Just talked to Kunal & Sonali. They r both sitting on the Kathmandu runway waiting for an aircraft to carry them back HOME," filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt posted on Twitter. Earlier in the day, Bhatt tweeted: "Can someone help us search Kunal Deshmukh (director of my film 'Jannat') in Kathmandu? …