"Hindi films should stop calling themselves Bollywood"... says veteran filmmaker Maniratnam!

(This article is authored by Alar)

Acclaimed filmmaker Mani Ratnam, who is gearing up for the release of his magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan 2, has expressed his displeasure with the term ‘Bollywood’ to describe Hindi cinema. He said that the term limits the perception of Indian cinema and does not do justice to the diversity and richness of films made in other languages.

Speaking at the second edition of CII Dakshin Media and Entertainment Summit in Chennai, Ratnam said that if Hindi films can stop calling themselves Bollywood films, then people will stop identifying Indian cinema as Bollywood. He said,  "I think Hindi films should stop calling themselves Bollywood. We should call our films Indian films. Why call it, of all things, Bollywood?"

Filmmaker Vetrimaaran also consented, saying that many outsiders find it difficult to grasp the vast diversity of the Indian film industry and so are "content with this misinformation."  Mani Ratnam and Vetrimaaran were part of a panel that discussed the impact of south Indian films on a global scale after the recent success of movies such as RRR, Pushpa: The Rise, Kantara and KGF: Chapter 2.

It's worth remembering Jimmy Kimmel who was the host of the Oscars 2023, where RRR won the award for Best Original Song for “Naatu Naatu”. However, he made a blunder by calling RRR a Bollywood film in his opening monologue. It was later slammed by the fans on social media for the host's ignorance and insensitivity.

Meanwhile Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan 2 is the second installment of his epic historical drama based on the novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy. The film features an ensemble cast of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Karthi, Trisha Krishnan, Sobhita Dhulipala and others. The film is slated to release on April 28 th 2023.