Art & Entertainment

Prakash Jha: Films, Web Series Should Be Made Responsibly; People Know What To Watch

Stating that the society is "far stronger" than a few individuals who certify movies, filmmaker Prakash Jha on Wednesday denounced censorship of movies or web shows but said these should be made "responsibly".

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Prakash Jha
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Stating that the society is "far stronger" than a few individuals who certify movies, filmmaker Prakash Jha on Wednesday denounced censorship of movies or web shows but said these should be made "responsibly".

In an interview with PTI here, the acclaimed director stressed that the freedom to tell a story is available in both mainstream theatres and OTT (over-the-top), but it has to be made in an "engaging manner" for people to watch.

"I have never ever supported censorship. Because societies are far stronger than a bunch of individuals who decide as to what the society has to watch," he added.

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Without naming any, Jha said contents showing violence or sex are being watched by the public in cinema halls even though those are duly certified.

"The society goes and makes those films successful. Now, why don't you censor the society? Put a censor on the society, can you do that? So, the society will decide as to what it wants to see. And I agree with that," he said.

Asked if OTTs give more freedom in making a film on a contentious subject as it does not face any physical attack like those exhibited in cinema halls, Jha said one can take freedom in every possible manner or in any medium.

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"But you have to communicate responsibly, because you are communicating with people and there is a certain amount of civility or responsibility which is connected with the communication of the medium.

"I believe in that, and that is why I try and negotiate my stories in a (particular) manner. Whether I am telling it for cinema or OTT, I would like to speak responsibly," he added.

The National Award winning filmmaker further said that for him, making movies is like telling stories which deal with human societies and people, and such sensitive subjects have to be told responsibly.

"As far as the medium is concerned, whether it is movies or OTTs, actually it is (just) storytelling. So, you have to tell engaging stories, you have to let the characters speak what they need to speak. For me, it is the same -- whether I make movies or those get exhibited on OTTs," he added.

The only difference between products for OTTs and theatres is that there is an expansion of storytelling in the digital format, Jha said.

"You have characters of every sub-plot and stories of every character. Whereas in movies, you have to speak about the main story and wind it in two to two-and-half hours. That's the only difference. Otherwise, there is no difference in scale or telling the story whatsoever," he added.

The director, who has been making films for over three decades and has now ventured into OTTs as well, also said that times change, societies change and so the manner of speaking stories change, but the stories remain the same.

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"I am not a historian, I don't observe like that. I am only interested in telling stories and I work very hard to assimilate the stories that I want to say.

"I am sure that there must be changes happening around but that's left to you guys (media), to critics and observers to comment on that. I am not really an authority," he said when asked about the changing landscape of Bollywood.

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