I have been getting several calls from publicists enquiring if we at Bollywood Hungama shall be covering Cannes Film Festival this year. Considering we have been covering several international events in the last one month, maybe there is a perception that we may be covering Cannes too. Somehow I don’t understand the fascination for Cannes festival when there is no film representation from India and all that you will get to witness are a few actresses representing their respective brands sashaying on the red carpet. There will be debate on their clothes and accessories. That’s where the Indian story ends.
Why do we still have this imperialistic hangover of an acceptance from the West? And why the elitist snobs look down upon Bollywood events like the IIFA weekend that’s held at a foreign destination each year? We have covered John Travolta’s press conference at IIFA Tampa Bay where he spoke about Indian artistes reverentially. Kevin Spacey indulged in a ‘Lungi Dance’ with Deepika Padukone and it was a truly fun moment. I have personally witnessed Hungama at the Dream Team concert tour in six US cities last year and the Salman Khan propelled Dabangg Tour in Hong Kong, Sydney and Melbourne last month. A deluge of fans thronged these concerts and shouted out loud right through each concert. I can say it with a lot of confidence that both these Bollywood concert tours witnessed far more craze than the over hyped Justin Bieber concert that was held in Mumbai recently. Somehow the white skin fixation continues with a few. Some of the Desi superstars work very hard at giving a full value for money rather than doing a disinterested lip sync favour.
If an Indian film or a Bollywood film doesn’t get selected at Cannes then there’s nothing to feel bad about. The colossal success of Dangal in China is a case in point as to how Indian cinema market is opening up far and wide. Baahubali 2 is breaking records and it will create waves when it opens in more international markets. The amount of money spent on VFX in Baahubali 2 is nothing as compared to the Hollywood flicks but it’s the visualisation of S S Rajamouli that has created a brilliantly unique world. It is time to acknowledge that Indian story telling is unique and we don’t need an acceptance from the West to prove our mettle. West loves to celebrate Indian poverty story. We are much more than that. It is also time that the Indian film industry starts taking itself seriously and hope it will get adequate support and freedom to spread its wings of imagination. It is time that we organise a film festival that the biggest of production houses all across the world would be honoured to be a part of it. Yes we can.