Cultural exchanges vital for Indian cinema’s growth: Amala

Panaji, Nov 23 (IANS) Amala Akkineni, who reigned over the southern film industry as a leading lady in the 1990s, says a consistent channel for “cultural exchange” is very important to surge ahead in the world of cinema.

“Cultural exchange is very important. I would quote like to Kamal Hassan by saying that if there is no exchange, then Indian cinema will be restricted to a pool of ideas. And it is crucial to educate the audience,” Amala said at a session of Film Bazaar, on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of India, here on Monday.

The wife of southern superstar Nagarjuna stressed that making the audience educated about new subjects is a crucial aspect of filmmaking.

“We need to tell the audience about international context and we can do this by taking it to them through travel talkies, an idea given by Hassan. We can show international cinema dubbed with subtitles and take it to the audience so that they are receptive to new ideas,” she added.

Amala spoke at length about things that can be done to come on par with international cinematic standards, while addressing a session named “Skill development in film industry: Standardized training techniques” here.

The actress, who even played a pivotal role in Bollywood film “Hamari Adhuri Kahani”, also emphasised that good and regional cinema has been “swallowed by giant mainstream cinema”. Thus, she pointed out at a need to create an individual identity for vernacular films.

“We must remember that each region has its own socio-political environment. Malayalam film industry has a very advanced script writing and script accepting audience; their scripts are so far ahead than the southern film world. Good cinema has been swallowed by the giant of mainstream cinema. But we need to bring in the identity and charm of regional industry,” she said.

Amala also noted that a global sensitivity needs to be developed among those willing to be a part of the film industry.

A director of Annapurna International School for Film and Media, Amala even criticised the number game of the film industry.

“Nobody prepares you for the release date of the movie. Nagarjuna has done over 90 films, and still it’s like having a heart attack before the release of the film. In the middle of this chaos, where is the research and development,” questioned the actress, who has worked in Tamil and Telugu films like “Shiva”, “Satya”, “Pushpak” and “Nirnayam”.

Amala added that for skill development in India, “we first need to recognise existing skill sets and polish them, so that they can train others. We also need to compensate them for their effort and time”.

She even said that the teaching imparted should be with no hidden agenda and for the good of cinema, adding that when it comes to skill development in the industry, Indians are lagging behind the world by 200 years.

(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of National Film Development Corporation of India. Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at

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