'Ultimately, every film has its own call'

Puneeth Rajkumar, who was present at the inauguration ceremony, posed for dozens of selfies and shook hands with starstruck fans.

He took time off to chat with Rajitha Menon about the festival and regional cinema.

What are your thoughts about film festivals like these?

I have been introduced to film festivals since my childhood. I remember attending children’s film festivals since I was about nine years old. I attended my first international film festival in Bengaluru way back in 1984, then others in Bhubhaneshwar, Delhi, Hyderabad and so on.

     These were a great experience for me at that age. Unlike today, we did not have the internet and other facilities through which we could access quality cinema from other countries. Indian films and Hollywood films were all that we knew. So from the time they were started, film festivals have provided people with an amazing opportunity to get
exposed to international films.

What is the main difference between Indian and international films?

It is the kind of subjects each shows. What kind of culture you lead in India, that’s what the Indian films reflect and what kind of culture and daily life you come across in other countries is what they will portray.The biggest difference arises right there. But there are exceptions to this of course. Ultimately, every film has its own call.

Your thoughts on Kannada cinema...

Cinema is cinema; irrespective of language or genre. These are all differences that are given by us. Every industry has its own potential and I think as far as ratios are concerned, the Kannada industry has had its share of successes. Around India and even around the world, there is a success ratio for movies in any industry. This is only around 8-10%and that is what even we have achieved.

Do you think regional and offbeat cinema is taking over Bollywood?

I think we all have our own share of the audience. Bollywood is too big a market. But as far as the Kannada market is concerned, it is only in Karnataka. So the reach is limited. But even within these constraints, there are some films that are doing pretty well for themselves. The recent film ‘Kirik Party’, a regional Kannada film, is actually doing quite well in Chennai as well as in the Malayalam movie scene. So something like this is possible – a film just takes its own time to get exposed to the other industries.

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