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Vinay Pathak: Small-budget, content-driven films should co-exist with commercial potboilers | Exclusive

The actor was at the New York Indian Film Festival 2023 recently for his new film Opium, which also stars Sharib Hashmi, Manu Rishi Chadha, and Dilip Prabhavalkar

Vinay Pathak: Small-budget, content-driven films should co-exist with commercial potboilers | Exclusive
Vinay Pathak
  • Arundhuti Banerjee

Last Updated: 03.50 PM, May 30, 2023


Throughout his career, Vinay Pathak has acted in indie films, delivering hits like Khosla Ka Ghosla, Bheja Fry, Chalo Dilli, and Midnight's Children. He was recently at the New York Indian Film Festival for his anthology, Opium, which got three nominations.

Upon his return, the actor spoke about how many of his films go unnoticed and remain unreleased.

Vinay told OTTplay, "My films not only remain unnoticed but also unreleased, and that is where I have a problem. If we do not get a chance to release a film, it does not matter whether it is a good or bad film because it does not reach the audience. I think we should have platforms to release small-budget, content-rich films because producers have invested money to make a film. I have nothing against big-budget films with songs, dance, and action sequences. But it is important that both kinds of films, big and small, co-exist."

Elaborating on the same, the actor added, "If there is mainstream music, there has to be classical music as well. Just because the number of listeners is lower for a classical music concert, that does not mean that it has to vanish. Similarly, films also need the support and attention of the mainstream media."

Vinay pointed out that such a problem did exist in the past as well, but there used to be a section of the audience who went to the theatre to watch smaller films, some of which he has been a part of.

"It is not a new struggle, because there is a constant struggle for visibility for any art form that does not cater to pop culture. All that I am saying is that the counterpart of pop culture needs a bigger platform," the Gour Hari Dastaan actor said.

The actor also highlighted the fact that the importance of coexistence is greater in the present time because we should not only celebrate different kinds of cinema but also different voices.

"We live in an era where we honour people's varied choices, be it name, gender, or how they recognise themselves. So, as an artist, I believe that every voice should coexist, including that of small-budget films that have good stories," he said.

Vinay's new film, Opium, is an amalgamation of stories of human emotions that come together from different religions and faiths.

Speaking about his character in the film, Vinay said, "It is an anthology, and my story is one in the film. Since I shot for the film quite some time ago and did not watch the final product, I will not be able to say much about it. All that I can share is that I play a man who has an elderly father that he takes care of, and it is their story. I got a chance to work with one of the finest actors in the film — veteran actor Dilip Prabhavalkar."

Opium received three nominations at the New York Indian Film Festival 2023: Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Film.