Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia says the Indian government doesn’t take the movie industry seriously and instead uses it as a “publicity tool”.
Dhulia is here with actors Ali Fazal and Shraddha Srinath to shoot his upcoming film Milan Talkies, which is a love story set in the times of the single screen theatres.
The filmmaker feels that while multiplexes are in fashion right now, single screens will be back sooner or later.
“I feel single screen theatres will come again. I had predicted around eight to nine years ago that only big films will make it to the theatres, and middle-of-the-road cinema and small films won’t make it to halls. There’s so much marketing and publicity cost involved… But then where will they go?
“Everyone won’t go to Netflix or the web. So, I feel single screen theatres will come.”
Can the government help in any way?
“What will the government do? Government… whether old or new… They treat cinema as a publicity tool. Take a hero and make him dance at the elections… But they don’t take the film industry seriously, because of which our films are getting finished,” rued the National Award winner of “Paan Singh Tomar” fame.
He pointed out how China manages its box office by putting a cap on the number of foreign films that release every year.
“Every week, we have a big Hollywood film, and they are getting dubbed in various Indian languages. Our Hindi films can’t sustain only… China has a bar on the number of foreign films that can release there in a year… And here, we put any number (of films). Government is not bothered,” Dhulia said.
He described Milan Talkies as a “sweet small town love story” set in Allahabad but shot in Lucknow and Mathura.
“The film is set in 2010 and 2013. It was around that time, film prints were still being shown in theatres. That was the time when it faded away and digital came in. So I did not want to lose the romanticism that is linked with cinema. The print playing… Reel changing. That’s why I have set it in those years,” he said.
Enjoying the shooting experience here, Dhulia, who has also penned the movie, said Lucknow is a shooting-friendly destination where people are warm and polite.
The film, which also features Reecha Sinha, Ashutosh Rana, Sanjay Mishra, Yashpal Sharma, Sikander Kher and Deep Raj Rana, is produced by PS Chhatwal of Filmy Keeda Productions and Prakash Bhatt of Purple Bull.