National Award-winning actor Girish Kulkarni believes that the Indian education system lacks the training of appreciation of art due to which it gets diversified, making it tough for artists to showcase their talent.

Girish along with Marathi filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni, Himachal Pradesh filmmaker Sanjeev Kumar, Bengali filmmaker Bauddhayan Mukherji and actor Chittaranjan Giri took part in a panel discussion, titled “Cinema India” at the fifth edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival here on Saturday.

While talking about Marathi cinema, which is currently considered to be having a gala time, Girish said: “In Maharashtra, we lack the cinema culture. People love going to theatres and they themselves make efforts to watch films. We must credit the mainstream Hindi cinema, which has created that kind of culture.”

“It’s a unique film culture, which we can witness across India. That thing is less for regional films though,” he added.

Girish, who has appeared in Marathi films like “Valu”, “Bihir”, “Deool” and “Gabhricha Paus”, said that Maharashtra lacks “cinema infrastructure”, but things are slowly changing now.

“Now the scene is changing as multiplexes are coming in. But with the ticket pricing films are beyond the reach of masses,” he said.

“Another important aspect is that in our education system as a whole, there is no training whatsoever about appreciation of art. That’s completely missing,” Girish said.

“It’s a very difficult process which has been simplified to a great extent by Hindi filmmakers. They just had their own grammar, which is a very simplified one. It connects to a bigger mass that regional cinema lacks,” he added.

Talking about the Marathi film industry, Girish said that there is no support from independent producers.

“In Marathi cinema, there are no producers. They all are one film producers. They come in with some odd hopes and money, and later go away. They never had any interest in looking forward to any integrities of this field. That responsibility also comes on the creative people, who are not good at business,” he said.

Girish feels that to compete with Bollywood and Hollywood, regional filmmakers should try to produce compelling content.

“There have been talks like Marathi cinema is doing really well and wanting to produce big names. But I think you have the same audience, which is getting scattered into the variety of content,” he said.

“It’s not only mainstream Bollywood, but also includes the big Hollywood banners, which are now here to compete. Now you have to produce compelling content, which will completely fit with the audiences’ mood. It’s a very tough and challenging task,” Girish added.

Girish says “government could not do anything” in helping independent filmmakers by providing funds to them.

“Maharashtra government just gives subsidy to Marathi films. The only place where government can help is by approaching National Award winners to motivate and help the younger ones. We can only improve when we will stop relying on the government,” he said.

(The writer’s trip to Dharamsala is at the invitation of the Dharamshala International Film Festival organisers. Sandeep Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])

By Sandeep Sharma

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