State support needed for off-beat films, says Abhay Deol

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Abhay Deol …Difficult to survive against mainstream cinema.

Actor Abhay Deol has said the parallel cinema can flourish only if government supports it as off-beat films requires artists to make lot of sacrifices.

“You have to live through it, make your own sacrifices. You can’t keep doing that when there is no support whatsoever. Even if not the industry, if there was government support like they did with the NFDC from the 70s to the 80s,” he said.

According to the Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara actor, the government support would’ve at least given independent filmmakers some surety of their film release.

“When the government supported NFDC (National Film Development Corporation of India), there was this little spark because there was some security, some guarantee of film release. Now that’s taken away from them. While it would be ideal for the mainstream industry to give that support, they don’t have to give it necessarily.”

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“The mainstream industry is perfectly fine where it is. It has audience too. But if government support came in, with the thought that let’s have a variety of representations across communities and idea, that is something our governing body needed to do,” he said.

After his debut in Imtiaz Ali’s Socha Na Tha, Abhay worked in off-beat films like Dev D, Manorama Six Feet Under, Road Movie and Ek Chalis Ki Last Local.

The 40-year-old star said with time it got extremely difficult for him to do the kind of films he believed in. “People accepted me for taking risks, so, I didn’t want to stop taking risks because I would disappoint the very base that I have. I didn’t know how to tell people that ‘Hey it’s not as if I don’t want to take a risk, but it’s damn hard to do it’.”

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“It’s difficult to stick to really going against formula when formula has always been around and here to stay. My desire was to put something parallel to the formula,” Abhay said.

Abhay says film makers fear to take risks with offbeat films as most of them fail at the Box Office.

“It is very difficult to have a parallel formula against the mainstream one. Every year, as more and more capitalist we get, the more risk-averse people are going to get. It’s all about money.”

When asked if he believes the indie cinema movement has improved from what it was earlier, Abhay said, “It’s the same stage; same individuals every now and then with their hard work and effort have managed to come up with one product here, one there. That’s all it is.”- CINEWS

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