Discriminating against any film unfair: Malayalam director

Nov 26, 2007 Arpana


Panaji, Nov 24 (IANS) Bollywood's endearing presence at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) seems to be missing in this year's edition but Malayalam director Shyamaprasad says it is unfair to discriminate against Hindi films even if the move is meant to provide space for regional language films.


In their bid to popularise regional cinema, the festival organisers are apparently keeping the Hindi film industry's glitz and glamour away this year.


"I am not aware that some language is sidelined to give space to another language. If it is so, than it is not right because each film should be considered on its merit rather than the language thing," said Shaymaprasad, whose "Ore Kadal" opened the feature film section of the Indian Panorama.


"I'm really not aware of this angle. Probably they didn't find that many Hindi films to be showcased in the Panorama section. Anyways, the festival was inaugurated by nobody less than Shah Rukh Khan and it symbolises the acceptance of the might of Bollywood," Shaymaprasad told IANS.


Based on Bengali novel "Hirak Deepthi" by Sunil Gangopadhyay, the well-crafted "Ore Kadal" is a story of a love triangle set in Kolkata of the 1960s. Mammootty, Meera Jasmine, Narain and Ramya Krishnan play the lead roles.


"Two years back somebody suggested me to read the book and after that I started working on it - like getting the rights to make the film. The story is about man-woman relationship in the modern society," said the director.


Legendary Satyajit Ray had also selected the same story to make a film but he later decided to adapt "Aranyer Din Ratri" by the same author.


Is Shyamaprasad happy to bring his film to IFFI?


"The Panorama is certainly a good platform for any regional Indian filmmaker to be showcased along with his contemporaries as the best of the Indian cinema that year.


"I enjoy showing my film to people who appreciate cinema in India and abroad. I'm just coming from Rome having shown the film ('Ore Kadal') in Asiatika International, which showcased the most outstanding films of the Asian countries this year. You get proper attention at specialised film festivals like this," said the director who does not think very highly of the Oscars.


"I personally don't think that (a film) being sent for the Oscar is a big deal. Oscar is more or less another commercial venture because there are so many commercial considerations for it."


This is not the first time he has based his film on a book. Shyamaprasad's "Agnisakshi", which bagged the National award for the best regional film in 1998, was also based on a novel of the same name by Lalithambika Antharjanam. Rajat Kapur and Shobhana played the main leads in the film.


The director's romance with literature continued in Nandana Sen and Heather Prete starrer "Akale", which is based on the Tennessee Williams play "The Glass Menagerie".


Asked about his future plans, he said: "I am writing a script for next year. It is definitely a contemporary one. I prefer making films which connects with today."


Shyamaprasad has five films in his kitty - four Malayalam ones and an English language film titled "Bokshu: The Myth" with Irrfan Khan.


"'Ore Kadal' is my fifth film. Simultaneously I work in TV also. I am the chief of programmes in Amrita TV," he said.



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