“This is the right time for Asian countries to become the world’s premier culture,” famous director Shekhar Kapoor said at the inauguration of the national seminar titled “Indian Cinema and Soft Power” on May 3, 2022. event was organized by the cultural outfit of India – the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.
Stipulating the need for a technological upgrade, the director also said, “If India is to use cinema as a soft power, we must win the minds and hearts of future generations across the world.”
Cinema has all the right ingredients to generate revenue and goodwill and there is untapped soft power that needs to be showcased to the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the inauguration of the National Museum of Indian Cinema, in 2019, said that films have played an important role in India’s soft power. The Prime Minister further said that movies have played a huge role in India’s soft power.
India’s untapped soft power – Cinema
In 1913, one hundred and seven years ago, Indians were amazed to see moving images on a larger than life screen – Raja Harishchandra, India’s first feature film. Next step, eighteen years later, in 1931, Ardeshir Irani made the first Indian sound film Alam Ara which transformed the Indian cinematographic industry. Today, Indian cinema has reached the world and is enjoyed by audiences beyond the Indian diaspora.
When we talk about India’s soft power, it has a civilizational dimension that dates back over 5,000 years. India is presented as one of the main cultural formations of the world – from religion to philosophy through art and architecture, language and literature; India with these attributes had made itself an attractive destination in the global market.
Indian cinema is a contributing factor to the soft power of this country. Then-Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar during a speech at the National Film Awards ceremony in 2019 said the influence of Indian films can be seen in other countries . Examples of this are many – including ‘Dangal’ – the Indian film which broke the top 10 world box office records by entering the Rs 2,000 crore club.
All over the world, we obtain recognition as well as foreign exchanges thanks to our films. We need to screen our films properly to global audiences,” Minister Javdekar added.
About the Symposium
Different 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 GP Vijay Kumar.
Cinematic colonialism, Indian cinema as a vehicle for raising awareness of the idea of India abroad, regional cinema and its global influence, the engagement of Indian cinema with foreign audiences, the global influence of Indian cinematic music are some of the key topics that will be discussed. over the two days.