Slump in Bollywood benefits regional cinema

The Hindu – New Delhi (IANS): Artist and acclaimed short filmmaker K.M. Madhusudhanan, who has directed award-winning Malayalam film “Bioscope”, says that regional cinema is now getting noticed because Bollywood is going through a slump. “Bollywood has reached stagnancy over the years with repetitive story lines, songs, stunts, etc. Even the so-called ‘new films’ are predictable. As a result, I feel that regional films are getting more attention,” Madhusudhanan an e-mail interview. “The recent commercial trends clearly show that Bollywood ventures are by and large a failure,” he added.  Talking about “Bioscope”, he said: “This is a film about movies and how moving images came into the lives of ordinary people living in remote parts of the country.”

Made in 2008, “Bioscope” starred Walter Wagner, Murugan, Ramgopal Bajaj, Nedumbram Gopi, Bharathan Njarakkal, T.V. Gangadharan, Mekha Rajan, Kuttiyedathi Vilasini, Nilamboor Ayesha and Anusha Mohan. Though it has travelled to several international film festivals and won awards, it has not yet been commercially released.

Asked if he would like to direct a Hindi film, Madhusudhanan said: “If Bollywood is ready to support a completely new vision in cinema, I will certainly make films for Bollywood. I would not compromise on the quality of production and artistic freedom.” Born in Kerala, Madhusudhanan has made many experimental short films like “Razor, Blood And Other Tales”, “History Is A Silent Film” and “Self Portrait” among others. His “Bioscope” won five Kerala State Film Awards and also bagged international awards like the Best Cinematography Award at SAIFF (South Asian International Film Festival), New York, a Special Mention at the International Jury Mannheim-Heidelberg and the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Jury Award for Best Asian Film.

The director believes that awards popularise a film. “The main advantage of awards is that the film will reach wider audiences. It is, of course, always a very nice feeling that your work is recognised,” he said. After “Bioscope”, Madhusudhanan is making a film that is being supported by the India Foundation for the Arts. He is also working on a Malayalam project based on a Buddhist story.

Apart from filmmaking, he has a keen interest in art. He studied painting at the College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram. “I still practise art and have had several shows in India and abroad in the recent past. I got attracted to the film medium through my studies of painting and the visual medium. From the time I can remember, I wanted to be an artist. I do not remember the time when I did not draw. And quite frankly, I have had no other ambition in my life,” he said.


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