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Bollywood represents an ideal nation and a pluralistic culture: Director Yasmin Kidwai

Post the screening of her film, Filmisthaan: The Euphoric State of Bollywood, director Yasmin shared the thought that led to the film and how they suceeded in getting stars speak about the industry.

Directors of Filmisthaan: The Euphoric State of Bollywood

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Filmisthaan: The Euphoric State of Bollywood directed by Yasmin and Fazal Kidwai, is a documentary that offers a glimpse into Bollywood (Hindi film industry); its diversity, secular identity, cosmopolitan nature and value system. The biggest names from Bollywood detail how they experience the wonder of Hindi cinema themselves and talk about its magic.

Speaking about the thought that led to the film, filmmaker Yasmin Kidwai, present for the screening of Filmisthaan: The Euphoric State of Bollywood, said that the film was conceptualized at the time when there was a lot of debate around the issue of intolerance and nationhood in the country. In such an environment, the ministry of external affairs wanted to look at the ways in which pluralism exists in our society. 

With this directive, Yasmin mulled over several themes, but realized that in many ways Bollywood represents an ideal nation and a pluralistic culture in the most effective way. Highlighting this aspect she said, “I wanted to communicate this idea [pluralism] in a way that maximum people could understand and [also present the idea] that cinema unites us on many levels.”

She then went ahead with the shooting of the film which took about two years. 

When asked about the presence of the top stars in Bollywood in the film, she said that, although, getting in touch with the stars took quite a bit of time, she was taken aback with the overwhelming support that came from the stars, who made time for the film, “So many actors have not come together for a non-director’s project ever. Priyanka Chopra flew down especially for the film and everyone was very cooperative.”

Even in terms of procuring the film stills the filmmaker said that it had not really been a struggle, “We were very lucky as we had heard horrendous stories, but everybody cooperated with us. Once they saw how the film was shaping up, they all came forward to help out”, she explained.

In the interaction post the screening, Yasmin congratulated the Woodpecker International film festival for its efforts in putting together a commendable selection of films.

She said, “Festivals are important for all filmmakers — young and well-known, as they give us an audience. As a festival, Woodpecker is also important because it is located in the centre of the city and the films are screened at Siri Fort which is very easy to access”.

Wishing the festival success in the years to come she said, “I wish that more and more people come to attend the festival and the festival gets bigger and bigger every year”. 

Filmisthaan: The Euphoric State of Bollywood was screened at the Woodpecker International Film Festival on 12 November.

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Woodpecker International Film Festival