India and Asia should create their own Oscar-level awards: Shekhar Kapur

Veteran filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said today that Indians should not be so crazy about the Oscars when Asia was vibrant enough to have its own Oscar-like awards.

The ace filmmaker had the media and others present for the 12th Osian’s Cinefan Festival for Asian and Arab Cinema glued to every word he said during an interaction with Osian’s Chairman Neville Tuli on “Indian Cinema, World Cinema film festivals and cinematic heritage”.

Shekhar, whose ‘Elizabeth’ had won Oscars, said few knew that the Oscars were launched because March is a lean month in the United States and so it was thought that there should be some activity relating to films which will keep people enthused.

Shekhar Kapur and Neville Tuli

He also said it was not correct to say that filmmakers in India did not plan for marketing when they plan their films, but said the budgets were far lower than those for Hollywood.

He said it was wrong to claim India has the largest film industry in the world. China is ahead of India because it is creating new infrastructures for cinema. It had a very strong domestic market for cinema, worth almost $ 100,000.

Therefore the only way to improve the Indian market is to improve the local market for cinema by building greater infrastructure such as financial institutions to help the film industry.

He also felt that Indians should look more towards Asia than towards the west in terms of developing its cinema.

He said that Indians would any day prefer to see an Indian film rather than a Hollywood film, and this potential should be recognized by the film industry.

He said the west had picked up many things from India and films there had more emotions now because they had also realized what people wanted to see.

Shekhar also had his complaints against the Central Board for Film Certification and said many countries did not have any censorship and those that did had better and more rational regulations in place.

Mr Tuli said that the OCFF this year was stressing on freedom of thought and expression and showing films that proved to be milestones in their fight for their right of freedom of expression.

He also said Osian’s was helping to build the proper infrastructure for creative freedom and also bring about a vibrant film culture that could co-exist with other forms of art.

Shekhar was at the Festival to participate in the panel on ‘The Water Landscape’ held yesterday as part of the section on environmental films, 7.4. He appreciated the idea of ‘Deewar’, the cinematic wall that unites, which was the venue for his interaction with the media.

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