June 28: Since the inception of existence, humans have been discovering different ways for recreation. The power of audio-visuals has been exploited politically, socially, and economically throughout history. Out of which, cinema has continued to be an extremely popular source of entertainment worldwide. Generically, the first few thoughts that comes to the mind on this topic are the negatives like stereo types, gender roles, objectification and many more. However, like everything, there are two sides to it. Producer Mayur Gharat, who is popularly known for his movie Shivamrut and has co-produced several other Marathi movies shares insights on this topic.

Cinema is an excellent source of entertainment that fuels imagination and is highly instrumental in giving us a break from our routine life.  As we evolved through times, cinema changed, and it changed the way of life. It is not just a source of relaxation for people around the world, but it is also a prominent medium for publicity, education, and culture.

“Cinema not only mirrors culture but also shapes culture and teaches us history” says Mayur. Every movie mirrors how we coexist as people in society and what we believe in. It’s easier to see our concerns, attitudes, flaws, and strengths in films than it is to decipher them from our daily interactions. “It reflects and shows us the crude reality of society. Through purposeful cinemas, social injustices and stigma can be brought to light and opinion against them can be put forward.” added Mayur. When our prevalent beliefs and ideologies are challenged in films, it compels us to think and eventually embrace change. And thanks to audio-visual translations, people can watch movies and understand the cultures of diverse communities spread across the world. It has helped us to become united even when our cultures are so different.

Besides mirroring our diverse cultures, the cinema has for a long time been shaping our beliefs and values. For example people copy fashion trends from actors, many aspiring athletes joined trainings after watching sports related movies, several things once considered as taboo are now well accepted society, etc. It is also common these days to find societies using figures of speech that are inspired by the film industry. At the very least, film solidifies selected cultural beliefs and renders some redundant ones. Even the history-based movies that are fact-based and, even fictional ones; connect the modern world with past generations.

Movies are evidently very impactful in today’s world. And because the positive impacts outweigh the negatives, it is our duty to choose the right content for the right audience. In any other artistic medium, whether it be music, painting, theatre, or photography, only a few of our senses are accessed. What makes film different is its ability to use both audio and visual to convey a story. In the end, a filmmaker is trying to evoke an emotion or response from the audience. “As filmmakers, the onus is on us to not just give entertaining content, but also deliver good quality content that impacts, inspires and motivates young minds” Mayur added.

As technology develops and continues to allow filmmakers to make the audience believe any reality and any situation, filmmakers have a responsibility to their audience and society outside the movie.

We are excited to see what Mayur comes up in his next project which he indicated to be working on currently.

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