Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Can festivals escape popular cinema?
When Goa first hosted the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2004, it seemed there was no escaping Bollywood and its glamour.
Vidya Balan, Salman Khan, and a host of Bollywood stars were part of the event.
Over the years, organisers have tried to reduce the influence of Bollywood on the festival, saying they wanted to concentrate on “serious cinema”.
Yet we unfailingly see a Bollywood star inaugurating the festival, its premieres taking place and references being made to India’s most popular export at every stage.
Festival organisers admit that there is no escaping Bollywood, but say they have to maintain a balance. Where that balance lies, is something that most film lovers still struggle to answer.
As someone who has attended the festival for the last five years, I know that a lot of people who want to see “serious” cinema are the first ones to complain when there are no stars or red carpets taking place.
Should Bollywood be a part of “serious cinema”? Can a harmonious balance be achieved?