National Seminar on Indian Cinema and Soft Power in Mumbai

It is the right time for the Asian countries, including India, to become the prime cultural influencers: Shri Shekhar Kapoor

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Renowned Film Director Shekhar Kapoor inaugurated the National Seminar titled ‘Indian Cinema and Soft Power’ organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (lCCR) in Mumbai. Maharashtra Governor Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari and ICCR President Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe graced the inaugural function held at the Raj Bhavan.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Shekhar Kapoor said it is an opportune time for the Asian countries to become the prime culture of the world. He said, ‘There was a time when I aspired to become like Americans during my youth. This was only due to the influence of American media.’ Now it is our turn; Asia is rising, and India and China are two nations that can cultivate their soft power to become significant influencers globally. Shri Kapoor added that China is already making all-out efforts to achieve that.

Stressing upon the need for technology up-gradation, Shri Shekhar Kapoor said, “If India has to use Cinema as a soft power, we have to win the minds and hearts of the future generations worldwide”. He said ‘90 per cent of the US and world youth are watching games apart from films and OTT.’ ‘We need to think of telling our stories through the popular media like gaming using the latest technologies. I would like to see games featuring Indian characters in Indian costumes’ he added.  

ICCR President Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said ‘Today, there is a great sense of goodwill and attraction for the Indian culture worldwide, but we need to create a deeper understanding of India, and Cinema could be an effective medium for it.” He added Our recent films mainly focus on women empowerment. Many times keeping business in mind negative side of the story is shown, but we need to paint the complete picture. He further said ‘topics like the struggle of the people of the North-East, the dilemma of the NRIs about to stay or return to homeland etc. still need to be explored by the mainstream cinema.

Governor of Maharashtra Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari said Bollywood can compete with world cinema today; it is popular worldwide. He added that Yoga and Yoga Day Celebrations have also become our country’s soft power.’

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About the Symposium

Various technical sessions of the symposium on ‘Indian Cinema and Soft Power’ will be chaired by eminent personalities and renowned experts like Subhash Ghai, Roopa Ganguly, Bharat Bala, Ambarish Mishra, Arunaraje Patil, Ashok Rane, Meenakshi Shedde, Manoj Muntashir, Paresh Rawal, and G P Vijay Kumar.

Cinematic colonialism, Indian Cinema as a Vehicle for spreading awareness about the idea of India abroad, regional cinema and its global influence, and Indian cinema’s engagement with a foreign audience. The global influence of Indian cinematic music is one of the key topics discussed over the two days.

Information & Broadcasting Minister Shri Anurag Thakur will be the Chief Guest at the valedictory function of the Film Division, Mumbai.