Filmmaker Karan Johar said there was need to stop segregating cinema into regions and start projecting, promoting and platforming Indian cinema.
He underlined the need for breaking the regional barriers and bringing all Indian films under one roof.
“Bollywood is a term we have learnt to live with. It is disheartening that you have to keep using it in the world because that is our identity. We are not poor cousin of any industry. We are tall industry of our own and we have made some spectacular movies,” he said at the Indian School of Business Leadership Summit (ILS) here on Saturday.
He described ‘Bahubaali’ as the first real crossover movie of India which crossed all corners of the country to the extent never seen in the past.
Karan said it was an extraordinary movie and its maker Rajmouli, actors Prabhas, Rana, Tamanna and the entire crew who were not known before 2015 became future stars.
The filmmaker, however, said the film was bigger than all stars. He believes the script and the budget of a movie were important than any superstar or megastar.
Stating that the star system died in Hollywood 10 years ago, he said Bollywood was also heading towards the same phenomenon.
On his movie ‘My Name is Khan’ going beyond the NRI market to reach non-Indian audiences abroad, Karan said this was possible as the movie was about misinterpretation of a global religion which resonated deeply with many countries beyond the Indian diaspora market.
He said perhaps there may not be another ‘My Name is Khan’ and there was also no need to go to other markets. “Let us strengthen our domestic industry before we look anywhere else,” he said.
“Indian cinema is a beast of its own. It’s not like anything that you sell off the counter or any other product this country sells. We are part of this beast and victims of it, at times. If you don’t love that beast, don’t own that beast and don’t completely and passionately be absorbed by that, you should not try and sell it,” he said.
The filmmaker said if somebody was an academic professional who was well educated in business and marketing, it did not mean that he can market and sell a Hindi or Indian film.
“It’s a totally different ballgame and operates from totally different space. We have unconventional and diverse audience,” he said.
Stating that the film business is based on faith and trust, he recalled he had sent a one-page contract to Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to get them on board unlike well educated young MBA professionals in the industry who are sending 80-page contracts to actors.
He believes the industry will have a golden period in another 10 years but remarked that currently it’s going through a dark tunnel.