If the sole essence of the Indian film industry right now lies in outshining the convention and embracing the new then versatile Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan can very well be called the representative of this genre. Recently he was here at Jain (Deemed-to-be University) to promote his upcoming film ‘Madaari’ and addressed a session on the rising challenges in the Indian film industry. We caught up with him for an interview wherein he candidly spoke about all - from key challenges to new scopes emerging in the industry
What are the biggest challenges facing the Indian film industry today?
The biggest challenge right now in Indian cinema is to make stories that can engage and entertain today’s audience intelligently. There is a rising tendency among audiences to relate themselves with the idea of a story and hence we need to look beyond the commercial arena and explore new ways so that we can emotionally engage viewers with the story.
The past two decades have seen a change in the way Indian cinema functions, so according to your opinion how has it positively affected the industry?
The last five years have been very positive, because of the audience. Viewers from different classes and demographics have shown their growing interests in theatre and new genres of films. When we came to the industry in the ’90s there were not enough middle-class family audiences who were as keen as they are now to come and watch movies in the theatre. But now the interests of audiences have evolved massively and the film industry has also started producing great movies to cater to their needs. That is the reason why unconventional movies like Piku, Talwar, and Neerja are getting such a positive response.
With the rising success of the good scripted small budget movies, where do you find the future of Indian cinema heading to?
I think if they can build a connection with the audience, they are going to be successful. We need to find ways of innovative marketing where the film doesn’t get loaded by its publicity budget and that will help a lot. So, I believe new ways of story-telling and film making concepts are the things that the audience is looking for.
What drives a good film- Is it the script or the direction?
Both. It’s a combination of both the aspects that makes it unique and film-making is a collaborative art. The story could be fantastic but if the director is not good he won’t be able to sell it. On the other hand, if the story is not good, it won’t create any connection with the audience. There are so many factors, so many departments that must work together for the film and that is how it takes shape.
Your message to the students of Jain (Deemed-to-be University)
They are the future of India, they should ask the right questions, they should know their duties and they should follow their passion.