Embrace us the way we are: Shabana Azmi

Published: June 8, 2012

Actor Shabana Azmi says it’s time Indian cinema stopped changing itself to match international criterion. PHOTO: FILE


The Indian film industry completes 100 years in 2013 and veteran actor Shabana Azmi says it’s time to take it on to the global platform and tell the foreigners to “embrace us” the way we are.

“As we celebrate our 100 years and the world shrinks to become a global village, it is evident that we need to celebrate cultures within their own paradigms,” said Azmi at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards on Thursday.

“It is important to take it to the international community and tell them, this is who we are, embrace us the way we are because we are not going to tailor it according to your requirements,” she added.

The actor mentioned that even though Bollywood is the main hub of entertainment, regional films are also upping their game and trying to be just as popular as Hindi movies are. For instance, IIFA, a Wizcraft International Entertainment initiative, will screen actor Kamal Haasan’s tamil thriller Vishwaroopam.

“Till now we have been looking at only Hindi cinema, but it is now becoming evident that we have to start celebrating Indian cinema. We are now celebrating the south Indian film industry, the pioneer of which is Kamal Haasan. We are also planning to take it to other regional cinemas because India is not a homogenous country and does not have a homogenous audience,” said Azmi.

The actor herself is known for her bold roles in female dominated movies such as Fire, a film by Deepa Mehta that shows Azmi playing the role of a lonely woman who fantasises about her sister-in-law and Mandi, in which she plays the role of an owner of a brothel. Azmi has been awarded Silver Hugo Award for Best Actor at the 32nd Chicago Film Festival and Jury Award for Best Actor at Outfest for her contribution to parallel cinema.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2012.

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