Cinema now is a medium for creating debates, says Vetri Maaran

Talking about a major shift in the way films are being made currently, producer-director Vetri Maaran has said that Tamil films are turning into a medium for creating debates.

Speaking at a panel discussion as a part of CII Dakshin – South India Media and Entertainment Summit here on Sunday, Vetri Maaran said “Earlier, cinema was a medium of escaping actuality.  Now, it is something that questions the actuality. You are there to question an existing norm.”

The Federal is the media partner of the CII Dakshin South India Media & Entertainment Summit,  held in Chennai on April 9 and 10.

He stressed” “One thing is clear: Many of us are creating a debate using cinema. That is encouraging for a filmmaker.  The Tamil audience is especially open to that.”

Talking about the way he looked at the craft of filmmaking, Vetri Maaran said, “We are experiencing something and responding to that external stimulus that makes us lead our lives in a certain way, cinema is an expression of this.”

He said that exposure to cinema is quite high today.

“We may have missed out some important films, but a common man or student may have gone ahead of us in terms of watching movies that may have been released while we were busy, and understood more about the way stories are told. Now when you tell a story to them it needs to have a certain finesse,” the filmmaker pointed.

Speaking at the panel Creating Content for Millennials, director Lokesh Kanagaraj said, “Millennials are observing very carefully. If we are watching a film and feel it is not good, we think about the technical aspects of the film. But the millennial audience is thinking beyond that.”

Both Maaran and Kanagaraj emphasised the need for authenticity in making cinema.

“We are creating a world which the audience is willing to buy, that is the challenge. Some directors have been doing it for a very long time, today that is what the present set of filmmakers have to recreate,” Kanagaraj added.

Speaking about his formula in picking the right mix for telling exciting stories to the millennials, Director Karthick Subburaj said that he asks himself if the story teller in him satisfied the story listener in him.

Subburaj pointed out that he strongly believes that everybody is grey. “In films, you are used to seeing ‘pure white’ people. Audiences are now ready to see and celebrate the grey shades in them. A villain had boundaries earlier. Now we can play around into ethical and moral detailing. That gives more freedom to etch out the character. I have the freedom to make him more real.”

The celebrated directors who are known for the mix of off-beat and mega blockbusters released among them, agreed that it is time to do creative films in the most exciting manner using innovative means.

In their message to young aspiring directors, the panellists agreed that working in the industry is hard work and is never going to be easy. But there is no set parameters on how to get into film making as anything can be achieved through different means.

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