I think it is high time we reviewed the archaic form of censorship... If you want to make films, you can't be afraid of adversities. You have to learn to ignore criticism— director Mani Ratnam
Veteran filmmaker Mani Ratnam said it was unfortunate that politicians meddle in the affairs of the censor board and use it as a tool to propagate their agenda. The censor board is supposed to be an independent body, he added
Mani had a lively interaction with his fans at the eighth edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival.
“The censor board sometimes gets governed by the ruling party. Movies go into politicians' hands and get shelved, which is very sad, he said.
“I think it is high time we reviewed the archaic form of censorship.”
Nevertheless, Mani is hopeful that things will improve, with Shyam Bengal as the head of the committee to revamp the censor board.
“I'm glad that Kamal Haasan is also there in the committee set up by the government to look into the functioning of the censor board,” he said.
During the session, which went on for one and a half hours, Mani recalled how he emerged stronger and wiser, after initial years of struggles and hardships.
“As a young film maker, I have gone through all kinds of troubles. I approached several producers with the script of Mouna Ragam, it was turned down,” said Mani.
However, he believes that those experiences and the first few movies gave him a lot of clarity about himself.
Mani had a word of advice for aspiring filmmakers. “If you want to make films, you can't be afraid of adversities. You have to learn to ignore criticism,” he said.
The interaction was a dream come true for Mani's fans. Surya Bharathi, one of his fans had a humble request—he wanted Mani to say his name once!
Another fan, Nirmal R wanted to talk to him for five minutes after the session. He made his request in a truly filmy style, inspired by Abhishek Bachchan in Guru.
“Give me five minutes. I'll finish it in four minutes and give you one minute back,” Nirmal told Mani.
When he told Mani that he wanted to be his assistant director, the ace director advised him to do short films and put them up on You Tube.
“I think you can learn more by making short films than by being an assistant director,” he said.