Shyam Benegal feels that there are no takers for documentaries in India
The veteran filmmaker talks about documentary film-making in India, how there are no proper channels, no exhibition space for the documentaries in our country.bollywood Updated: Feb 23, 2018 18:28 IST
Noted filmmaker and screenwriter Shyam Benegal was recently awarded the V Shantaram Lifetime achievement award at the 15th Mumbai International Film Festival for his outstanding contribution in the field of feature and documentary films.
However, he says that there are no takers for documentary filmmaking, especially in India. “Within the country, the opportunity for documentary makers is not good. For them, the situation has never got better. One of the major problems with documentaries in India is that there are no takers and you don’t even recover the cost incurred,” he says.
The filmmaker adds that a lot of factors are missing. “There are no proper channels, no exhibition space for the documentaries in our country because the cinemas don’t show them.” He adds, “In such cases, one has to go to international channels where the documentaries are screened, and then your work becomes worthwhile.”
Benegal points out, “Also, it’s a difficult job to be a documentarian in India because they don’t get sponsorships to produce them and the chances for it (getting a producer) are always small.” Asked why Bollywood filmmakers are not venturing into documentary filmmaking, he says, “It is their personal interest.”
However, Benegal, 83, adds that documentaries are helping many to make it to Bollywood: “To go into the feature films, many have been using documentaries as the first step.”
Lastly, the award-winning filmmaker, shares, “A large number of young people are making documentaries today, which didn’t happen in the past, and it needs to be given proper space.” Benegal has directed and produced the national award winning documentaries like Satyajit Ray-Filmaker (1982), Jawaharlal Nehru (1982), Nehru (1985) and others.
First Published: Feb 23, 2018 18:28 IST