‘Unwarranted restrictions and social bias hindering the progress of film industry’
Innovation and creativity are aplenty in the present-day scenario in the making of a film; technology develops at a fast phase; social and various issues are multiplying in geometric proportions; there is neither scarcity of theme nor dearth of producers but what prevents the industry in marching forward are inadequate freedom of expression, unwarranted restrictions on the part of Censor Board, and motivated bias caused by political interest, says V. Sekar, director, popular for low-budget films.
Noted for box-office films which reached the masses, Mr. Sekar says what the industry has achieved so far is not an end of it.
There are many more issues to be handled: education, history, spiritualism, child rights, problems of senior citizens, agriculture, and so on, he says.
India has been gifted with outstanding film personalities — directors Mani Ratnam, Bharathiraja, actors Kallaivanar, M.R. Radha, Sivaji Ganesan, and so on. He broadly classifies the artistes into two categories: those who work on the formula “art for art” and others with a motto “art for people”.
Stalwarts such as Kalaivanar worked for people.
Director K. Bhagyaraj knew the pulse of the filmgoers and the common masses.
Mr. Sekar attributes his success in film industry to two factors: experience he gained as a lower middle employee of the Chennai Corporation with a meagre wage of Rs. 100. “It still provides me an opportunity to understand and realise the hardships of middle and lower-middle class people. That is why I select the titles of my films indicating it is aimed at the people who suffer on economic grounds but ensure decency and dignity in their lifestyle.”
The second biggest influence on his films was the training he had under Mr. Bhagyaraj which provided him with a vision for his career in the industry. “Mr. Bhagyaraj is mass-oriented director,” he says.
Mr. Sekar points out that the theme of films mostly revolve around love; on the other hand, there are various topics and interesting issues which are bound to attract the filmgoers and others. “For instance, the puranas should not be just projected as puranas. The heroic deeds, their courage, and valour should be properly projected. There should not be any element of superstition in it,” he says.
To drive home this point, he cites the Ramayana authored by the late C. Rajagopalachari. “He re-defined the Ramayana to draw the interest of the people of that age. He did not call it Rama but named the Lord as Chakravarthi Tirumagan”. And, everybody read it.
“Similarly, we should re-invent the puranas and epics and project them in a different way so as to suit the present-day generation. We are more interested in learning Alexander the Great. But we should be proud of Muruga the Great, Shiva the Great, and Rama the Great.
With innovation being uppermost in his career, he is now working on a film Saravana Poigai in which his son Karl Marx acts.
He has a word for drama artistes: it is a fact that the drama artistes do not earn what they used to in the past decades. “Do not be discouraged as several avenues are open for you,” he says.
He suggests that street plays are well recognised by people. “Choose some issue or other particularly child rights, education, and so on. You will be well recognised,” he says with a firm voice.