'Regional films living in the shadow of Bollywood'

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Regional films should not try hard to compete with Bollywood, rather they should focus on bringing freshness in their script to carve a niche among global audiences, says Jasbir Singh Derewal, producer of National Award-winning film "Nabar".

The film won the award in the Best Punjabi film category at the 66th National Film Awards.

"I feel that we are trying to compete with Bollywood and we are doing a terrible job of it. We need to have bigger vision and try out new ideas. At the moment, we are living in the shadow of Bollywood," the 40-year-old told IANS.

He feels Bollywood has set a "standard", but regional filmmakers should "choose topics or story lines that are of international level, so that the world can take notice of us, including Bollywood," he added.

Directed by debutant Rajeev Kumar, "Nabar" talks about human trafficking. Based on Punjab's youth fascination for foreign countries, it shows how they sell off their assets and property to raise money to travel abroad in search of a better future.

Derewal feels regional films can help younger generation in staying grounded.

"Regional films are part of our culture and it is a very important platform for our industry and media to express their concern about local communities," he added.

"Also, it helps our younger generation to keep in touch with their roots and culture," he added.

Apart from "Nabar", other Panjabi films that received National Film Awards in the past include "Satluj De Kande" (1964), "Nanak Naam Jahaaz Hai" (1969) and "Anhe Ghore Da Daan" (2012).

"In the last 50 years only 11 Punjabi films have won National award. We are very grateful to god and hard work of the team and that our work has been recognised at the national level," said Derewal and added the whole "Punjabi community should feel proud of it".

So what next?

"I am currently busy with the promotion and distribution of 'Nabar'. I am also working on my next film, which will be about women of Punjab and their problems. With these films we are trying to make a change for the new generation of the females of Punjab," he said.