PAN NALIN: “Bollywood's Popularity Restricted to Indian Ghettos”

Pan NalinThe words are those of self-taught film-maker, Paris-based Pan Nalin, who won inter-national acclaim when his first feature film Samsara released worldwide in 2001. Since then Nalin, born and bred in Gujarat, has carved a niche for himself in the international film circuit. In a brief interview he talks to Meenakshi Kumar on the release of Samsara in India and how Indian cinema can make it big internationally  " people are interested in all types of films. Bollywood alone can't satisfy them "

Is the Indian audience mature enough to accept a non-Hollywood, non-Bollywood film?

The Indian audience is extremely intelligent. It's just that they have never been given a choice. Thankfully, in the last two-three years, they have had the opportunity to view offbeat films and as such are now open to a variety.

Also, the fact that India has many regional films, proves that people are interested in all types of films. Bollywood alone can't satisfy them. Our state is very similar to the Americans, who don't have much choice beyond Hollywood.

And the fact that the American audience is hungry for good cinema is proved by the sale of world cinema DVDs. According to a survey, there has been a 400 per cent increase since last year in the world cinema DVD market in the US.

Bollywood is the latest buzzword world over. Hindi films are doing good business and people are talking about our films. What are your views?

Right now, it's a fashion. I know people who have watched one Bollywood film, even a second one but by the time the third arrives, their interest has faded away.

Yes, the films are doing well in the US and the UK but why not in Denmark? This is simply because there are so few Indians/NRIs there.

Bollywood films are released in areas in the UK and the US which are basically Indian ghettos, where 90 per cent audience comprises Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. Why are Bollywood films not released in the heart of London?

" Bollywood films are released in areas in the UK and the US which are basically Indian ghettos "

How do you suggest Indian cinema can reach out to the world? Do you think we are ever going to make it in the international market?

We have to tell a compelling story, one that strikes a chord universally. To make a great film, only three things are required, story, story and story.

People talk a lot about crossover cinema but I've yet to see any such film coming from India. Why can't we have a film like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which can be released anywhere in the world?

There is a lot of raw energy bubbling in the country today and something will definitely come out of it. If China has managed to capture the world cinema market with their folk tales and traditions, then why can't India do the same?

We are an ocean of stories and I am sure that in a not-so-distant future, Indian films will be remade.  

 

Full interview in the Times of India

Print