Veteran filmmaker Govind Nihalani on Saturday said the era of the 1980s was about bringing a change and make it happen in reaction to mainstream cinema. During that period, people witnessed movies from his generation of filmmakers including Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen.
At a time when films like “Qurbani”, “Alibaba Aur 40 Chor”, “Karz” and “Dostana” were ruling the box office with heavy duty star cast, glamour, dance and music, Nihalani says a movement of what was called “new cinema or parallel cinema” started to prove that such elements were not necessary to make a film work.
“When you ask how the films were made at that time… we had this movement going of new cinema or parallel cinema. That movement essentially started as a reaction to mainstream cinema,” Nihalani said here, during a panel discussion at the Habitat Film Festival.
“It brought out a thought that it was not necessary that you follow a pattern which was established by what we call now mainstream cinema. Which means you must have presence of stars, music, dance, there should be a happy ending… that was very important and that good wins over evil all the time,” he added.
The 76-year-old and the recipient of six National Film Awards said the filmmakers on the flip side proved that the glamour quotient was not necessary and that films that connect people can also be appreciated and work.
“You can make films that connect with the people. Other elements which connect you with the audience, which requires more human empathy, concern with anything other than being happy a the end of it all… The fact that you can make the difference. You can make the change happen.
“When we started making films and the young generation that came in, they came with the idea that you can change something and that change is possible. At the core of it that was the thought. The stories that we chose, it had no stars, glamorous locations… whole thing was about the change and that we make it happen. Stories were chosen in that mood,” he added.
The other panellists include director Buddhadeb Dasgupta and filmmaker Avinash Das.
The Habitat Film Festival is being held until May 28 at the India Habitat Centre.
Other movies which are yet to be screened here include “East is East”, “Maroon”, “Trapped”, “Cholai”, “Sadgati”, “Mukti Bhawan”, “Mantra”, “Aakrosh”, “Veeram”, “Ardh Satya” and “Haraamkhor”.