Millennium Post

Don't want to make mindless entertainment: Ananth Mahadevan

Kolkata: Filmmaker Ananth Mahadevan does not want to helm mindless entertainers as he has certain responsibilities as a director.

If movie makers churn out only "fantasy potboilers", it will not be good for Indian cinema, he said.

While "cinema has gone to another level across the globe, we are lagging," Mahadevan told reporters at the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) here.

"I have certain responsibilities as a filmmaker.

I don't want to make mindless entertainment. As a filmmaker, I have to be socially relevant," he said in reply to a question about the pressure of catering to box office in Indian cinema, especially Bollywood.

The director's 'Mai Ghat Crime No 103 - 2005' in Marathi is in the competitive section of the ongoing KIFF.

The movie is based on a real life incident of custodial death and a mother's fight for justice for her sons.

"Cinema is art and treating cinema scientifically is my job. If we continue making only fantasy potboilers then it is not healthy for Indian cinema," he said.

Pointing out the predicament of makers of his brand of cinema, Mahadevan said, producers are not supportive of the content, and corporates are also not encouraging.

"So the audience has to take whatever is given to them despite cinema meaning something else other than mindless entertainment," he said.

Blockbusters enjoy 10 per cent of the total audience in the country, while "one per cent should watch our kind of films, which cannot be a very little figure for our cinema," he said.

Elaborating on market considerations, Mahadevan said, "I don't expect a film (of our type of cinema) to reach Rs 100 crore blockbuster figure and so let us create Rs 10 crore."

Advocating for generating a new kind of awareness among the audience, the well known filmmaker said, "educating the audience to watch movies that is world cinema is very important for our films, Indian films."

Turning to regional cinema, Mahadevan said, "regional cinema, especially Bengali, Malayalam and Marathi films are doing extremely well with good content, and the thought behind making the films are also excellent."

If one does not support or promote these films "you are killing healthy babies," he remarked.

Asked why he did not make the film in Hindi, the Victoria No. 203: Diamonds Are Forever (2007) and Dil Vil Pyar Vyar (2002) director said, "I don't want to cash in on my popularity in Hindi to make a film in that language."

About 'Mai Ghat Crime No 103 - 2005', the director said "The film throws up many questions - on social strife, caste system, differences at the lower level.

"We stuck to the facts. The name is derived from the actual case number provided by the lawyer, only layering was added."

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