'Alternative cinema can be awful'

'Alternative cinema can be awful'

Close Shot: Shyam Benegal says he doesnt categorise films

“A film is a film whether documentary, fiction or non-fiction. There is no need for any distinction and I feel it is totally useless. You put yourself into pigeonholes by making that differentiation,” expresses Benegal, who began his career as a director with film Ankur in 1973. 

The film director with more than 15 National Awards to his credit says it is assumed that all films under alternative cinema are good, while in reality that might not be the case.

“It is not necessary that alternative cinema is always good. It can be awful too,” says the director, who was in the City recently to participate in an environment and wildlife film festival.

According to this veteran director everybody who is into film-making, irrespective of the genre one chooses, one is dependent on the audience and those who claim to make films for themselves should not make them at all! “Why should I make a film for myself? I rather not make any,” he says.  Benegal has made films like Manthan (1976), Sardari Begum (1996), Mammo (1995), Zubeidaa (2001) and Welcome to Sajjanpur (2008).

His last film Well Done Abba, a political satire, was released last year and won him National Award under Other Social Issues category. The avant-garde filmmaker also feels that the technological aspect of filmmaking is also changing every day.

“Some shot or frame, which was impossible to capture till a few years ago, can be shot today because of technological transformation. Cinema has no past but only present and future because it is extremely technology-driven,” he signs off.

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