Cinema with purpose – Regional and culturally linguistic films

When the words ‘good film’ or ‘impactful movie’ are said, one’s mind usually goes towards Hollywood or Bollywood almost immediately. What one forgets is the array of films made by regional cinema throughout the world. Indian regional cinema, the Asian movie industry, Eastern cinema or the European movies of France and Italy, be it any of these, if one pays attention, one will find hidden jewels of cinema amongst them. Let us vouch to appreciate good films this International Mother Language Day.

films around the world

There is an untapped market for cultural films, slowly coming out to view these days. These films are not big on star power or on the amount of money invested in making them. What they are about, however, is good scripts, good storylines and impact. Significant themes and innovative treatment can be seen clearly in this channel of cinema. Such films help preserve and promote the culture and traditions of different places. India is a country of diverse cultures, varying with every few step one takes in this country. Similarly, Italy and Rome were the centres of the emergence of Renaissance. Various traditions, languages, dance forms and other art can be immortalised through cinema. This is why is it of utmost importance to slowly start moving into the process of filmmaking for these forms as well. This is why linguistic films can be known as ‘Cinema with Purpose’.

Indians always pride themselves on Bollywood films. Previously, most films that would go out for international film festivals from our country were not at par with the films from countries like France, Italy or Greece. These countries would send out the films that had an impact on the minds of the viewers rather than those which were most popular. With the focus of every mainstream filmmaker now becoming the need to make a 200cr or 300cr film and break box office records, rather than make meaningful cinema, maybe this is the right time we give regional movies a chance in the spotlight.

indian film industry

It is no doubt that regional movies showcase true skills of the entire process of filmmaking. After all, the National Award winners for Best Feature Film over the last decade, were always regional movies, with two exceptions – Paan Singh Tomar in 2012 and Ship of Theseus in 2013. Even internationally, India’s official entries to the Oscars have been non-Hindi films – 2011’s Abu, Son of Adam (Malayalam), 2013’s The Good Road (Gujarati), and 2014’s Court (Marathi) since the last five years. Regional films help a filmmaker connect with their audience in a much better way as well. A film in a person’s mother-tongue will have a much bigger impact on him than a film in a national language, since the viewer will be able to connect better with it.

Let’s move our focus away from Hollywood and Bollywood for a moment and have a look at the different motion picture industries that exist all over the world. In China, cinema’s origins can be traced back to 1896. Since the past ten years, there has been a significant growth in the film industry and as of 2013, China was the second-largest film market in the world by box office receipts. Another part of world cinema is the Nigerian film industry, informally known as Nollywood. It is the second largest film industry, in terms of output, and the third largest, in terms of revenue. Cinema of Persia is the film industry in Iran, which produces a ton of commercial films annually. Iranian art films are now enjoying a global following, thanks to the international fame they’ve gathered in recent times. The Yeşilçam film industry is the industry of Turkey. It is the second largest in all of Europe. Kış Uykusu (Winter’s Sleep), a Turkish origin film, won Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Film in 2014.

aisfm films

Trinidad & Tobago, Nepal, Bangladesh, Korea, Pakistan are few of the many industries that exist worldwide, producing films that need to be brought out of the shadows, and onto a global platform. It is of utmost importance to break this norm of viewing only the blockbuster or high budget movies as ‘films’. Try to step outside this bubble created by pop-culture, and indulge in something besides the typical run-of-the-mill type of films, both in terms of viewing and making.

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