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Selling a story, Sunit Tandon style

I DON'T understand why we keep shouting slogans of unity in diversity in India. Is it an advertisement of selling toothpaste or what? It is just not possible given the kind of segmentation we have. See France, Germany, China, they are all great societies because they are neatly segmented despite having so much of diversity within their countries!

Does this statement shock you? Hold on, there are still more to come from Sunit Tandon, famous theatre artist and newsreader for whom the world of films is quite dishonest, especially to literature. And that we need not make those kinds of family films any more that are meant for ghettos!

"Most of the films that we made earlier were for ghettos only, films that would cater to all-in-family sentiments. We still have a lot to work on in new films. Why waste so much of money oft-repeating the ideas and giving nothing new to those living in ghettos," he questions. He is in New Delhi to deliberate upon a seminar on films.

"These days films are not about a story but about how to sell a story," he thinks. "Forget the box office," he asserts, "they (people preferring predictable end films) are a different segment altogether. They just can't be amalgamated with multiplex audience. Let's accept it. And forget trying to bring them to the mainstream. It is not possible, economically, geographically, physically, philosophically and so on."

And where to get new story ideas?

"We need not go to literature for ideas, reaching audience on a personal basis would do," assures Tandon. He opposes the need for any culture policy too. "What is meant by a culture policy? Who will make it? We are better off without that," he declares. There is something more that he is feeling better about; he might just take a play titled "9 Kahoo Hill" to South Africa. "Talks are on. Let's see what happens," beams an optimistic Tandon.

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