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Indians open to different cinema: Nalin

There's an audience for films with 'different' sensibilities, says Pan Nalin. Samsara is about choices and destiny

india Updated: Jul 06, 2006 18:00 IST

He is the latest addition in the list of India-born filmmakers who have been making waves on the international cinematic circuit through their thought-provoking ventures that bridge the divide between art and commercial cinema.

Like his predecessors on the "crossover film" scene (a term often used to characterise Indians making waves on the international cinematic circuit) like Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay and Monsoon Wedding), Gurinder Chaddha (Bhaji on the Beach, Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice), Manoj Shyamalan (Sixth Sense) and Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth and Four Feathers), France-based filmmaker Pan Nalin believes in making films that deal with universal themes that strike a chord with audiences cutting across barriers of nationalities and cultures.

For example while his debut directorial venture Samsara, which released in India last week, deals with a universal story of how the desire to live life to the fullest makes a monk question the spiritual values of monastic existence and opt for the various pleasures life has to offer.

His next venture Valley of Flowers is a love story spanning two centuries and several continents.

"There's an audience for films with 'different' sensibilities", says Pan Nalin.

Films like



Valley of Flowers

, which are largely a translation of the filmmaker's own experiences and philosophical musings into cinematic images, may not seem palatable to the average Indian cinegoer coming as they do amidst the candyfloss stuff and comedies ruling the roost, but Pan Nalin believes that such films would definitely appeal to the audiences in India today.

Talking to UNIbefore the release of his Valley of Flowers, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Milind Soman and a French actress, Pan Nalin said," no matter what the trends, I believe there is definitely an audience for such kind of films with different sensibilities. This is proved by the success of my debut venture Samsara which has, before arriving to India, made wav es the world over, picking up more than 30 prestigious awards and earning more than Rs 100 crore. Infact, in none of the 60 countries where Samsara has been screened till date, has any distributor lost his money on the venture.

In any case, with an increasing number of multiplexes coming up in India in recent years, there is a new kind of audience thronging the cinema halls which would be appreciative of sensible films like Samsara and Valley of Flowers."

The filmmaker said trial shows for the films held over the last few weeks had elicited an encouraging response.

"In fact, after watching Samsara, many distributors in India have shown interest in my next film Valley of flowers, which stars veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah, model-turned-actor Milind Soman and a French actress. This is despite the fact that Valley of Flowers is not a typical Bollywood film and only 20 per cent of it is in Hindi,"the filmmaker said.