Filmmakers ‘manufacture’ controversy ahead of film release: I&B minister

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday said Bollywood filmmakers “manufacture” controversies ahead of a film’s release in order to gain box office success.

“Honestly, put your hands on your heart and say how many of us manufacture that outrage because we don’t have a film that is that good. but we know that we will get the eyeballs if we create some controversy,” said Irani in a question-and-answer session with filmmaker Karan Johar at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) event held here yesterday.

Irani’s reply came after Johar said the film industry was a ‘soft target’, hinting at the backlash the film, ‘Padmaavat’, faced ahead of its release. The actor-turned-politician further said that the film industry was not in a pitiable state.

“We are not bechaara (helpless). It’s a Rs 1.3 lakh crore industry which puts food on the plate for 3.6 million people,” she added. Irani also spoke about the use of artificial intelligence in film-making, pointing out that it could enhance a viewer’s experience.

The minister gave her views while attending the opening ceremony of the chamber body’s annual event, Ficci Frames. On the occasion, Ficci’s chief Rashesh Shah said the Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry has been hitting new milestones and has stepped onto a matured phase at a growth rate of 11.6% compound annual growth rate.