Prasoon Joshi: We have to focus on getting more authentic with our stories | Hindi Movie News

Renowned screenwriter and lyricist Prasoon Joshi’s masterclass at the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Goa was intended to help aspiring creative professionals make a conscious choice to inspire people through their work instead of doing purely what they like to do. In his session with a senior journalist, Prasoon underlined the importance of being society-centric with one’s work among other things. He said, “A mother brings up her children and in the process, she gives up all those things that may benefit her as an individual but not her child in his or her growing up years. She thinks of the larger good and not just herself. If I have to make a choice between writing something or singing something that I like and something that can inspire, I will choose the latter. When I wrote Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, I often thought to myself if this piece of work could inspire more people in this country. There was intent and that intent needs to be alive. Self-expression should in some manner attach itself with the larger good.”

Elaborating on the kind of writing that can inspire social change, Prasoon said, “When I was writing Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, Rani Laxmibai’s character was guiding me. When you choose a subject, be just to it and see where it takes you. Stories can be narrated in different ways. Whatever needed to be created has been created; I only have a unique vantage point. For instance, one sitting on a river bank will see the river differently from someone who is moving against its currents. Stay true and authentic to your vantage points. Authenticity ki ungli thamiye, raasta khud mil jayega.”

Prasoon also lauded the film festival for hand-picking budding artists through the 75 Creative Minds of Tomorrow competition, launched as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. He stressed upon the need to do away with the notion that success in film business is entirely dependent on chance. He said, “Cinema has to have magic, but making cinema should not be magic. It is a serious craft. We have to make it by design and not by default. Tukka or chance has to be reduced. We need to get great cinema by design and not by chance. When a child in a family says that he wants to become a singer, filmmaker or lyricist, the family should be able to take them as seriously as they would take him if he said he wants to be an engineer or a doctor. That will happen when we start working towards serious exposure and learning. We also have to focus on getting more authentic with our stories. Lot of people have told me that they have made films about villagers and farmers without interacting with them. Unless more and more filmmakers come from various parts of our country, different milieus, different language sects, we won’t see diversity. Filmmaking is a business that generates employment. Filmmaking should not be seen as akin to gambling. One should be assured of his or her craft.”

Prasoon also discussed the need to focus on practical and artistic aspects of filmmaking, citing composer A.R. Rahman as an example of a technician who is always in touch with the practical and technological side of his craft. “It’s crucial for everyone to know the practical aspects of their crafts. There is no need to shy away from technique and practicality while being artistic,” he added.

As the head of CBFC, Prasoon has overseen the certification of over 25000 films nationally in his tenure. Given that his run has been more or less dispute-free, he was asked about his approach to the job. He said that he believes in deliberations over disputes. He said,“Organisational discipline has its benefits. I feel that creative people don’t intend to harm. My colleagues in the industry would know that there is no accusation here. There is a certifying process and it is complex because our country is one of the most complex in the world with its cultural diversity in place. My approach was to open a discussion to find solutions, understand and accommodate different points of view. While talking about commerce and share of wallet, you cannot ignore the share of voice.”

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