Famous denizens share what precisely they admire about the Hindi film industry…
Danny Denzongpa: “If you are talented you are appreciated unanimously”
“Well, it was a little tough in the beginning but it has been a wonderful journey, really! I’m quite fortunate to be a part of this industry. It was very difficult initially when I came from the Film Institute. But eventually I got to do a part in Gulzar’s MERE APNE way back in the 1970s and after that it just worked. The thing here is, if you are good at it people appreciate that. I am extremely happy to be part of this most cosmopolitan fraternity of people that is our film industry, where there is no caste, no religion – only success is taken into consideration. Hence, somebody like me, who didn’t have the conventional looks, fit in. I was an alien who came from nowhere, yet I was welcomed. When I came here everybody said that I looked so different, that I had no chance to succeed because at that time majority of the films made were something like what you are seeing now on television today – it was about families, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, and uncles and aunts….and I didn’t fit anywhere. However, once I succeeded, once I showed my potential, everybody loved me and the distributors did not throw me out. So, in that sense, our industry is the most welcoming sort. If you have it in you and are ready to work hard, if you are talented, then whether you are from Mars or from the South or North, from Pakistan or any part of the world, you are appreciated unanimously, which is a wonderful thing about our industry.”
“For me, cinema is about telling a story and the prime objective that I would have as a director is to tell a story. And it could be any kind of story; it could be a story which may have emphasis on something or the other. In essence, I am telling a story, so I am sharing with you a story, which I think, will communicate some emotions which are important to the characters and what happens to them. So for me, cinema is story-telling. This endless debate about an art film and commercial film… actually for me there is no demarcation. For me, films are films – either a bad piece of art or a good piece of art, it is a piece of art. I like it or dislike it. I can communicate with you or I can’t communicate with you… it’s as simple as that.”
Abhishek Kapoor: “Movies are entrenched in my DNA”
“Indian cinema is a unique form of entertainment that is rooted in our culture and reaches out to the everyday Indian across demographics and geography and language etc. Indian cinema celebrates our lives and the values we hold dear, alleviates our pain, and unifies us as a people. All of this, singularly, calls for a celebration.
For a field of work that is so creative in nature, it can get rather disheartening to see how it’s the norm to embrace and reward mediocrity – compounded by a herd mentality – over excellence, by undermining the aesthetic tastes and emotional intelligence of our ticket-buying cinema audiences.
The continuing pursuit of rising quality standards in our cinema – that uplifts as it fascinates and innovates as it speaks in new voices – is the call of the hour. We’ve taken baby steps in recent years, but these need to evolve into giant strides.
Movies are so entrenched in my DNA that they seem an inseparable part of my consciousness. Most of us grow through childhood, grounding ourselves through the three R’s. As for me, it’s always been three R’s and a C (for cinema) – movie screenings, trade talk, story narrations, dialogues and songs as reference points in conversations. Films from my childhood days like SHOLAY and even classics from my parents’ era like GUIDE are vividly etched in my memory. I’ve just not known anything else – and there’s no place else I’d rather have been!”