‘More movies on forgotten heroes’

URVASHI ASHAR

Art historian Rahul Bhattacharya of Infinity Art Corporation, that has initiated the Rang Rasiya:
Rahul Bhattacharya
Rahul Bhattacharya (TOI Photo)




Freedom of Expression Movement speaks about the thought behind the project.

A national art competition is an innovative way of promoting Rang Rasiya...

It is the initiative of Infinity Art Corporation headed by Aanand Mahendroo and Mehool Parekh, who are keen to make it an annual event. It’s known as the ‘Freedom of Expression Movement’. The ‘movement’ intends to promote new artists. Since Rang Rasiya is our lead sponsor this year, people are confusing it with being a tool to promote the movie. But our sincere desire is to make an impact much beyond just the film’s audience — on the artist community itself!

With religion being such a touchy topic in society, artists must be restrained in their ‘forms of expression’ while attempting religious themes...

There is a need to create platforms wherein artists feel the pressure to be restrained in their forms of expression. It is the spirit of Raja Ravi Varma that impacts our vision as we put together the Rang Rasiya Freedom of Expression Movement.

Director Ketan Mehta made a film on Mangal Pandey before Rang Rasiya... As a historian, tell us some ‘forgotten heroes’ who ought to come alive through the medium of cinema...

Historical icons play a key role in motivating the youth. I’d like more and more movies to be made on forgotten heroes... say someone like Pandita Ramabai. Being an art historian, I’d like to see more films being made on cultural icons, since art and culture have a healing effect on society.

Post 26/11, people want to express their views. Would you recommend art?

Of course, I’d recommend art, as creative expression opens the door to the strongest forms of non-violent protest. The thematic roots of Freedom of Expression competition lie in nation building, people-to-people interaction and compassion.

Art has suddenly become so ‘unreachable’ for the common man...

Raja Ravi Varma played a pivotal role in taking art to the public domain. Besides him, icons like Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore were also passionate about art being a guiding light in society. But in the post independence era, commercial interests took over. This has been one of the factors that have inspired us to start this movement. The entire contest has been designed to connect artists and artistic activity to the masses.
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