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Exclusive! Vinay Pathak: Budget has nothing to do with how good a film is

The actor busts myths surrounding small-budget, content-driven films and how the global audience views Indian cinema at festivals

Exclusive! Vinay Pathak: Budget has nothing to do with how good a film is
Vinay Pathak
  • Arundhuti Banerjee

Last Updated: 03.18 PM, Jun 04, 2023


Vinay Pathak recently returned from the USA, where he attended the New York Indian Film Festival 2023 for his film Opium, which received three nominations. The actor became the face of independent cinema in the 1990s and early 2000s, and he spoke to OTTplay about some misconceptions that people have about how Indian films are viewed on the global map and more.

Many of his films, like Midnight's Children, Island City, and Axone, have been screened at international film festivals. So, we asked Vinay about how he thinks the global audience perceives our films and local stories.

Vinay said, "I think that audiences across the globe are the same. Even in the West, there is a large section of the population that prefers popular cinema to content-driven indie films. So, whether it is in India or abroad, the audience for films with a difference is always smaller. Those who watch films at festivals love that kind of cinema, but they don't make up a large number of the population."

The common assumption is that small-budget, content-driven films are better than big-budget commercial potboilers. Ask Vinay about this, and he says, "No, I do not think that the budget of a film has anything to do with whether the content is good or bad. A good film is a good film. It's that simple. I know that there is such an assumption, but I do not agree with it."

Opium is directed by National Award-winning director Aman Sachdeva, and it also stars Sharib Hashmi, Manu Rishi Chadha, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, Kritika Deo, and Dilip Prabhavalkar.