‘The film industry is mafia-like’
Filmmaker Anish Kuruvilla is on a quest for ‘better cinema’. And he believes Tollywood is falling seriously short
CHARISMA MURARI Times News Network
WHAT lurks in the underbelly of Tollywood? Filmmaker Anish Kuruvilla has observations to share, and a disclaimer to add before he gets into them, “I have been in the industry for over 10 years. I have been an assistant director, actor and executive producer. I have been associated with critically acclaimed movies like Dollar Dreams, Anand and, more recently, Godavari. I am not some wasted daarudrinking loser. I know what I am talking about.”
And then he wastes no time in trying to explain why he had to make a movie that would be called Confessions of a Filmmaker, and that would do exactly what its title suggests. “The film industry is mafia-like. Everything is about family and bloodline, and anyone who doesn’t belong to any of the dynasties can’t break in,” he says, adding, “The industry is further divided by caste. People of a caste work together. Heck, the first question you are asked when you join a set is, ‘ay oor meeru’ (which village are you from). Give me a break. We are trying to make movies here! And we’ll never make a multi-starrer. Because every actor is concerned about how his fans would be affected. They all think they “owe” something to the fans, and that the fans would be annoyed if they worked with a certain actor!”
Anish continues, “The Vajrotsavam (the 75th anniversary celebrations of Tollywood) speaks for how people are in the industry. They all came of as school kids. It is remembered for the mess it created. But no one wants to talk about it. For that will upset the powers that be, and people don’t want to alienate the big producers or directors. And the actors, well, they call all the shots anyway. It’s pathetic to see big directors getting up from their chairs and saluting – with bowed heads – heroes for just showing up on the sets. I have seen the socalled big directors grovelling.”
Why did Anish feel inspired to tell this story? “Because there is more to cinema than the titillating things that Tollywood wants us to see. They want to shove a song, which almost literally translates into sexual intercourse. And it has extremely suggestive hand-movements as well! It’s all rather atrocious. I believe cinema can be more meaningful. And I can say what I think because I am not getting my bread and butter from the big daddies, as it were.” How then are guys like him financing their movies? “By selling our land, cars, homes. It’s really as basic as that.”
needless to say some liberties where taken by the journalist in quoting me. i guess thats the way it is and i am fine with that.