Talking about web series being nominated for the award of Best Web Series, Advani said that the web is the future of entertainment and it is very important to understand the format and encourage it. “If any producer, director, storyteller, actor, actress or technician feels that the web is a lesser cousin or a lesser model of feature films or cinema than he/she is being extremely foolish. Five web series have been nominated for REEL Movie Awards: Laakhon Mein Ek, Bose: Dead/Alive, Pushpavalli, TVF Bachelors (Season 2) and Going Viral Pvt Ltd.
The line between commercial and mainstream cinema is also blurring continuously, said the filmmaker. It is becoming harder to make films with big stars and easier to make content-driven films because more studios and financial institutions are backing them, he added. “I think the blurring lines should be encouraged. If you look at Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor’s films, they were good and relevant films which also made money,” said Advani.
This year, several films which combined sensibilities of art house cinema and the technical finesse of mainstream Bollywood films have released and are nominated for Reel Movie Awards. The best film category has a varying range of cinema. Newton, Death in the Gunj, Mukti Bhavan, Lipstick Under My Burkha and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan are competing for the top award.
The filmmaker said that he is a proponent of quality cinema. Advani confessed that he hates the fact that the Indian film fraternity is often referred to as an industry. “I don’t like to call the film making community an industry because being an industry means that you only care for the bottom line. I think it is important to keep looking at filmmaking as an art. Whether millions of people appreciate it or few, art is art,” he said.
“I hope that women-centric films being made doesn’t stay a trend anymore and becomes a norm.” said the filmmaker. “I have been running my production company for seven years and my daughter who is 11-years-old asked me recently, ‘dad you have made nine films yourself, how come not one of them is about a woman?’ which made me think that why am I not doing it,” added Advani.
He said that his 11-year-old asking him this question made him realize that even audience want to watch women-centric films. The filmmaker said that films like Lipstick Under My Burkha and Tumhari Sulu should be made more often.
Advani is one of the four jurors of REEL Movie Awards. The other jury members are Farah Khan, Sujoy Ghosh and Sudhir Mishra. The award show will be hosted on March 20, 2018.