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Konkona Sensharma says film appreciation must be taught in school

Alankrita Shrivastava also laid the blame for good films struggling to do good business on audiences which love them but pay only to watch commercial entertainers.

Alankrita Shrivastava and Konkona Sensharma


Actress and filmmaker Konkona Sensharma believes subsidizing cinema tickets and teaching the art of film appreciation in schools can bring audiences back to the theatres.

Sensharma and fellow filmmakers SS Rajamouli, Alankrita Shrivastava, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and RS Prasanna addressed the topic during a television news channel's talk show.

Sensharma, who made her directorial debut with A Death In The Gunj (2017), said on the show on CNN-News 18: "If we are interested in people coming to theatres, then we have to create a film-watching culture and teach film appreciation in schools. We should have subsidized theatres that show different kinds of films and have film festivals and involve the students and the community so that there is a film-viewing culture."

Rajamouli, director of the two Baahubali films, added that today schools are only about academics, unlike in the past when there were drama classes, extracurricular activities, and games. 

"Now everything is taken away except academics, and there is no help from the government," the Telugu filmmaker lamented. "For a filmmaker, writing the story is one step, finding a producer is the next, getting a studio to distribute is another step — all these are the jobs of a director. Like that, getting your audiences to move out of their homes and come to the theatre to watch your movie is also the job of a director."

Shrivastava, whose Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017) was caught in a censorship row with the earlier chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), believes a different form of ticketing will help.

"You cannot expect the audience to pay the same kind of money for a really big film and a small film," she said. "And there are so many things that are prohibitive, like marketing budgets. So everything works against the smaller film because audiences don't even know about these films.

"It's not a level playing field," she continued. "I would like to place some responsibility on the audience because I feel that very often they will love a Masaan (2015) but they will have sat at home and watched it, but they will go and watch a Dabangg (2010). So it also says [something] about the audience which is encouraging certain kinds of cinema to be made."