Whistling Woods rolls out road map for next 100 years of Hindi Cinema
It had taken the lead last year, and it has changed the paradigms of celebrating the occasion once again. The "It" is Whistling Woods", and the occasion, obviously 100 years of Hindi cinema. Last year, before anybody could think about commemorating the occasion, Whistling Woods took the lead or rather was first off the block and held three day focused programme celebrating 100 years of Hindi cinema, and when the occasion has actually arrived this year, it has chosen the moment to layout the roadmap for future of Hindi cinema.
As Meghna Ghai Puri, who is the president of Whistling Woods International opined, occasions of such monumental importance on the one hand provide an opportunity to take a sepia toned trip down the memory lane, they also serve as the perfect launching pad to set the agenda for the future and catalyze the process of change by unleashing the change agents which have been trained at WWI and are now ready to share their knowledge about craft of cinema, its nuances with the cinematic fraternity as also with the fans of cinema. These change agents have been nourished and nurtured in such a manner that their conscience has been elevated and Puri is of the view that they would in their small but contributory manner bring about a change in society and create a ripple effect in such a manner that few years down the line the institution of cinema in India would start being viewed in a respected manner.
The programmes for the current year would be spread out over two days on 11-12 May which would have a panel discussion where Dia Mirza would be talking about cinema through an interview with Shabana Azmi, and on the occasion BOMBAY TALKIES would also be screened as well, which Puri feels is a wonderful way to pay tribute to the manner in which cinema has fostered ideas, nuances, beliefs, notions, cultivated fans and has enthralled the audience all over the world apart of course from India.
Meghna Ghai Puri also is choosing the occasion to provide training to women in self-defense so that they feel empowered and do not feel weak when faced with a sticky situation. It is a sort of a contribution of WWI to the cause of woman, a small step towards women empowerment, of course to contribute in a small way to dispel the notion that cinema promoted misogyny and perpetuates the same. Indeed, if one were to rewind to the movies that have been made under the banner of Subhash Ghai films, he could be one of those rare directors who has never portrayed women in a deprecatory manner, rather all his movies have been celebration of womanhood, coyness, beauty and self determination to fight injustice.
At such a moment when cinema is undergoing transformation, a question is being thrown at the fraternity whether it should initiate the process of moral policing? Meghna Ghai Puri holds the view that moral policing is not an idea which has its relevance in a creative business like cinema, rather it has to be left for the audience to decide which product do they want to see and which product do they want to reject. Besides, cinema is a reflection of society and it presents and shows what is happening in the society without sermonizing in fact. The moot point is whether the process of presenting what is happening in the society should go on, or change also should be introduced. In this context, Puri is of the view that the change agents, i.e. the students who would be passing out from the WWI, being trained in such a manner to bring about change in the society through their cinematic oeuvre would indeed initiate the process of change and its results would be seen few years down the line.
One needs to compliment WWI for the vision that they have of thinking about the course that cinema would take 100 year hence, and it is the spirit and belief of this kind which would provide the vitality and elixir to the business and craft of cinema.
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