By Ninder Kaur
The 17th edition of India’s biggest film festival, the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival is
taking place from October 29th to November 5th in Mumbai.
The film festival celebrates the diversity of Indian and international cinema, showcasing the latest cutting-edge independent projects, avant-garde art house films, alongside genre offerings from Bollywood and Hollywood, with a focus on international cult movies.
Who better than to talk to that the festival’s Director and film critic Anupama Chopra.
Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world with thousands of films being released. Do you think the quality has got better over time?
Yes. I think that we always have and always will continue to make a few outstanding films. I just hope the numbers go up more. Its hard to generalise and say that it used to be better and now its got worse, or that it used to be worse and now it has got better because every year throws up different things. We have definitely understood how to take our movies all around the globe. In the years that I have been a journalist, it has become a big global brand. It has evolved in so many ways.
What changes do you think, if any, have impacted in the Bollywood film industry?
A lot has changed. In fact, too much has changed. Everything from the exhibition to the audiences being more sophisticated because they have all been raised on satellite television to the kind of movies that we make. There is so much more variety now than what we used to have before. Tons and tons of things are done differently.
Do you feel as though the Bollywood film industry has done a good job at making great films?
It does. Just look at this year, the biggest hits included films like Piku, Tanu wed Manu Returns, Badlapur, NH10 and ABCD 2. You have all kinds of films becoming successful. I think that is a sign of a healthy film industry. There is never just one type of story. There are many types of stories.
I know this question is a cliche, but what is your favourite movie of all time?
It would have to be Sholay. It has everything that a great hindi movie should have. It was like an amazing ghujju thali where there is everything- romance, violence, comedy, tragedy, happiness, sadness and all blended together perfectly.
I’m curious, how do you collect information while you are watching a film. Do you take notes? If so, doesn’t that necessarily affect your experience of the film?
I do take notes because I can’t remember everything that I feel when I watch the film. I have never found that it impacts on my experience of watching the film. It is just second nature to me now to take notes now.
Where would you like to see the future of the film industry?
I would really like it to soar higher and higher and I would really like people to pay more attention to the foundation of film particularly storytelling. I think if we had that, we would have even better films.