Supporting each other growing with films makes us an industry not term 'Bollywood' filmmakers

Mumbai, May 3 (PTI) Moviemaking is an industry based on emotions and filmmakers thrive on creativity and support of colleagues, according to directors Hansal Mehta and Sudhir Mishra, who dislike the use of the term "Bollywood" as a moniker for showbiz.
    The filmmakers, along with Abhishek Chaubey and Sriram Raghavan, were speaking at a session titled 'Creating the magic of cinema' at the 2023 FICCI Frames here.
    Dismissing the term 'Bollywood', Mehta said the film industry was all about respecting fellow directors', their work and standing up for each other in times of need.
    "Bollywood does not exist. There's no Bollywood. What exists is there is a lot of respect for each other, each other's work and there is a desire to share what you have done with each other... You are supporting each other's work, you are appreciating it and learning from it, using that to propel your work forward," the National Award-winning filmmaker said.
    Mehta said there have been times when he reached out to colleagues Vishal Bhardwaj and Vikramaditya Motwane to praise their work.
    "I saw 'Maqbool' and I called Vishal and said 'I wish I had made my first film after I saw this'. I would have learnt from this and made my first film a better film. I made it too early. That's what happens when you see the work of a colleague.
    "I saw 'Jubilee', I messaged Vikram saying 'How do I even try to become like you?' For me, that is the beauty of the industry. It's been 30 years (for me) and the tribe has been growing. That pat on the back, that hug is the industry. It's based on emotions," the "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story" director said.
    Mishra, known for films such as "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi" and "Dharavi", said he "never liked the word 'Bollywood'" and would rather call it "the Indian film industry".
    "That's why I'm very comfortable with Vetrimaaran or somebody in the Kerala industry because we grew up in the independent cinema movement as the Indian film industry. (It's being said today) that people are understanding internationally our cinema, but they understood it with Ray, no?
    "Now, you have to set up stalls. When Ray was making films, you just had to walk around Cannes and say 'Hey, Satyajit Ray film!' and everyone went to you," noted the two-time National Award winner.
    The money aspect in the film industry is a necessity for the filmmaking process, but it's not what cinema is about, he added.
    "We are all fanatics and we love this muse called cinema. We are slightly upset, deformed mad men who hang around here despite not being paid for many years. I've often put in my director's salary to complete the post production.
    "People who are in the cinema can't do anything else, that's why they stick around. The medium loves us, it makes us better. It cured me, I'm sane because of it. There's so much that it does for me. Can I screw it for money? No," he said.
    Chaubey, known for "Ishqiya" and "Sonchiriya", said he may be someone who maintains a low profile within the industry but that doesn't mean he is aloof.
    Citing the example of his film "Udta Punjab" that ran into trouble with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) ahead of its release back in 2016, the director said he realised he was a part of a "brotherhood or fraternity" when several known and unknown people rallied behind him.
    "When 'Udta...' was going through all sorts of problems with the censor board and there was a press conference organised, literally the entire industry turned up. That was the day I figured out that this is how it works, we are standing up for each other. In that sense it was a brotherhood or a fraternity. We are not an industry in the traditional sense, but we pretty much are," recalled the filmmaker.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)