Anurag Kashyap has become the poster boy of the film industry’s fight against unjust censorship and rampant piracy. In a Bollywood Hungama exclusive video interview with Content Head Broadband Faridoon Shahryar, Anurag says that he shall go right till the end to fight out the menace of archaic censorship and blatant piracy. He also appeals that more theatres should be opened to facilitate the growth of the revenue for the film industry.
Are you happy with the response to Udta Punjab at the box office?
I am very happy with the response but the fight is far from over. Promises have been made like every time and we are waiting for them to act on it because problems are not going to go away till things are not altered and changed.
The way it got leaked was shocking. Aamir recently said that if the CBFC is involved, then it’s a big shame for them…
If they are involved, of course it’s a very shameful thing. But right now, the investigation is going on. Till the investigation is not over, it will be presumptuous for anyone to say that CBFC leaked the film.
How far will you go for fighting this battle?
We are going to go right till the end! We are going to pull up everything. It’s high time our industry is taken seriously! And it’s time that we as producers act on it. We should not ignore it simply because hamari film ko box office pe acchi opening lag gayi. The whole industry has come together. Pahlaj Nihalani and his antics have united the entire industry!
Even Salman said the same thing. He pointed out that industry is not united and is not taken seriously, despite the fact that we pay taxes.
We are taxed at everything. We pay so many taxes and there’s no protection from the government. We are always living under this threat. Exhibitors are scared ki meri fight ki wajah unkatheatre to nahin tootega. There is a need to get politics out of it. The politicians have their point of view and have a right to express it. But they should stop using the industry as a soft target.
Salman also said how 3.40 crore saw Bajrangi Bhaijaan in theatres but 30-40 crore people watch Bigg Boss on television…
Yeah, we don’t have exhibition space. There is no policy that supports mushrooming of new exhibition space. Look at China. It has become one of the biggest markets because the government supports the industry. The screens have multiplied because of which the films are getting released in adequate screens. Right now, there’s jostling of space in India. If one big film is coming out, then for the next 2 weeks, every film is scared to come out because they know that they are not going to get exhibition space. But the policies are such that people are scared to create more exhibition space. And due to that, the ticket prices are higher since recovery also has to be higher. When there will be more exhibition space, ticket prices can also come down and people belonging to different strata of society can go to different theatres to watch a film. Hence, you see, it supports a lot of things. The industry then becomes powerful and a big revenue generator. In China, film does $100 million business in the opening week. Local Chinese films are making $500 million at the box office. Piracy also happens because cinema is not accessible. Cable pe picture dikhate hai kyunki theatre nahin hai aas pass; log jaaye, toh jaaye kahaan?