Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza says that Bollywood films are "just for entertainment" and that he wants to provide something more than that. He is not interested in making commercial cinema.
His latest film "Captive" screened Sunday here is based on a real life event which took place in 2001 in southern Philippines where 20 tourists were kidnapped and held hostage. The subject really attracted the filmmaker.
"I am not attracted towards making commercial films. I am more into traditional cinema. When I watch Bollywood films, I know that I am there just for entertainment. This is my whole experience... But for me, I want more than that. I believe that you can involve the audience with your film, mentally, emotionally and even physically," he told IANS in an exclusive interview.
Mendoza is trying to give his cinema a different perspective and dimension. "I am more confident in doing that," he said.
"I was bothered by a book which was written about this (kidnapping) incident by one of the American hostages. Two documentaries were made but a lot of the questions were not answered. As a reader, I really don't know about this incident but I was intrigued by it. There were many unanswered questions. That...made me interested," he said.
"Captive" was screened Sunday at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) organised by Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) here.
This is Mendoza's second visit to MFF, the first one being three years ago when he was one of the jury members in the international competition category. He said that the festival has undergone many positive changes since then.
"There have been a lot of changes. Firstly, it is in a different location this time and I think there are more people watching the film which is a good sign. Of course, we have great filmmakers and great films in the festival. Unfortunately, I don't have time to watch all of them," he said.
The director seems to be fond of film festivals as they give a chance to people to see non-mainstream films.
"I really like this festival. You can share your film with the Indian audience. I could feel the energy and I could see the people and how interested they are. These films are not normally seen in mainstream. It helps people understand about the whole world. It's a new dimension and they understand different people from the rest of the world," he said.
Mendoza says that the Philippines has an overdose of Hollywood cinema. " We don't have access to world cinema in the Philippines. There are mostly Hollywood American films. There are no films from any other part of the world," he said.
He is a huge fan of world cinema as it spreads awareness about different cultures and traditions.
"If I had been exposed to world cinema earlier, I would have a different take on what films were about. In world cinema, you are transported in a different world. It makes us understand our humanity and existence. You connect somehow," he said.
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