MUMBAI: Indian films have won laurels, been applauded at the box office and are watched theatrically, on television and many other available mediums. What then is the reason that they have failed to make it to the Oscars?
In fact, Indian cinema can make an impact internationally since many Indian actors have already begun making appearances in Hollywood. So what is holding back?
Former partner C.A.A. and chairman Rick Nicita said, “To make an international impact, Indian films should be based around the world and not be India-centric. Not that all Hollywood films are based on foreign land, but those which are always leave an everlasting impact in the minds of millions of people. It is not that Indian films are bad, but filmmakers here need to change their vision”, he said.
Giving an example, Nicita spoke about Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. “Though it was a good film, its success was financially just about okay taking the overall box office collection of the film,” he said.
Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto Film Festival, referred to actors like Kabir Bedi who had done more than 60 films in India, featured in Hollywood films, and also had a taste of European cinema and television. Nana Patekar, Bailey said, was an exemplary artiste, having done varied kind of roles. “He stands a very good chance of navigating international waters.” He was speaking at Ficci Frames 2012 at a session on ‘Navigating the International Waters: Indian Cinema and Actors Overseas’.
Bradd Pitt had risen to international standards with his intense dedication. “Being a hero, Pitt has often undertaken small character roles and has excelled in them,” Bailey said. He also referred to film personalities like Colin Firth (Kings Speech fame), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Kiran Rao (director Dhobi Ghat), Anurag Kashyap and Shah Rukh Khan.
But Bailey lamented that Indian cinema does not go beyond the South Asian audiences.
Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (Oscars) Governor Mark Goldbatt said he had been seeing the Indian Film Industry “growing bigger and bigger by the day. What the country’s film industry needs is advent of good technology because there is no dearth of acting talent in the country.”
Life Entertainment, Berlin, CEO Stephan Ottenbruch was of the view that the film industry in India has seen good development in the last two years. “I was amazed to see the technicality in Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One. I wish it all the best.”
Kabir Bedi said the business of casting was a major bane of the industry here. An actor should establish himself so that his name is well remembered.
Agreeing, Ottenbruch said, “The real name of Ben Kingsley is Krishna Bhanji but he is known by his screen name and not by the other. I remember once Kingsley told me that if I had to seek a film role in the name of Krishna Bhanji, producers will say that will we call you, but if I go as Kingsley they would ask me ‘When will you start?””
Commenting on how Indian films can make it to the Oscars, Ottenbruch advised Indian filmmakers to make films that should move people emotionally, irrespective of any region or country.