Director Sudhir Mishra believes a "mass culture" has emerged in Hindi films due to lack of diversity, which is depriving the younger generation of different ideas.
The National Award-winning writer-director said though there are independent minds influencing popular cinema, there is still a dearth of alternative voices.
“There is a deficit, especially in the Hindi belt, where the culture has become one-sided. A mass culture has emerged. The younger generation is not able to see or hear something different, or find some alternative,”said Mishra.
“I think the younger generation has become nutritionally deficient. Cinema is also a nutrition that helps one understand about different countries and cultures. They are being deprived of different viewpoints, worlds and ideas. Hollywood or Bollywood are not the only ways to say a story,” he said.
The Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi director, speaking on the sidelines of the launch programme of Jagran Film Festival's 'Under the Banyan Tree on a Full Moon Night', said if the same style of films continues to dominate, the youth would be a “deprived lot”.
Asked what has led to this situation, the co-writer of cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron! said, “Those with the money are deciding 'what is cinema'.” But all is not “doomy-gloomy” in Hindi films, he said, noting that there are filmmakers in Mumbai who are doing good work.
“The current phase is getting better. Independent minds are making their presence felt in popular cinema. They are good. Rajkumar Hirani, Imtiaz Ali, Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Navdeep Singh, there are many.
“Among the younger, Amit Masurkar (of Newton), Chaitanya Tamhane (Court), Rima Das (Village Rockstars) are impressive,” he said.
Mishra said films made in Indian languages other than Hindi are not “regional films”.
“I don't like the word regional cinema, that is also national cinema. Hindi is not the rashtra-bhasha (national language), it is an official language. Why are you upsetting Tamil or other languages, they too are the languages of our nation,” he said.