On Friday, the 65th National Film Awards saw several regional films rise to the occasion alongside Bollywood and Tollywood productions. The focus has naturally been put on regional cinema. For director Shekhar Kapur this seems to be a good reason to come back to making films in India.
“My last film in India was Bandit Queen. It was for a reason that I didn’t make films in India. I wanted to make better films here. For years, I’ve been watching films and thinking that ‘Nah... the standard of Hindi films is not that good. I thought, ‘Why should I go back? It should move forward and take up newer challenges’. But after 10 days of watching these films, talking to my jury members, I want to make a film in India,” the director told Hindustan Times.
He then went on to heap praises on regional cinema and how it has the potential to beat Bollywood while announcing the winners, “The standard of performances in some of the regional films is completely stunning. Hindi films cannot compete with them, not in the state they are... And I know why... Our Hindi films try too hard to become everything. These (regional films) are rooted,”
This year saw the best actor being won by Bengali actor Riddhi Sen for Nagar Kirtan while best director went to Jayaraj for Malayalam film Bhayanakam and best film was won by Assamese film Village Rockstars. Regional cinematic flavours were amply served at the National Film Awards this year.
“Awards are given not only to highlight the work done by the filmmakers, they are also given so that audiences actually go and watch the films. These films are not just meant to be viewed by film critics.Why only allow the film critics to see the films? There is a very thin line between prejudice and judgement. Film critics are usually very prejudiced. You must watch these films. A lot of people have done a lot of hard work,” he added.
Kapur had last directed Bandit Queen in India after which he moved to Hollywood and made films like Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.