Freedom of speech under fire today: Mahesh Bhatt

Kolkata, Apr 6 : Veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said he feels the Indian film industry is facing hard times in portraying ideologies through art forms with complete freedom. "If freedom of speech is taken away from us, we will move to a graveyard," Bhatt said while speaking at an interactive session organized by the Indian Chambers of Commerce (ICC) here on Friday. Reacting on the controversy over the release of actor Kamal Haasan's last film 'Vishwaroopam', the filmmaker said: "What happened with Kamal Haasan's Viswaroopam is completely unfortunate. Freedom of speech is under fire today. The challenge is to protect the right to freedom of speech."

Commenting on the Supreme Court's verdict against Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, Bhatt said, "That was the verdict by the apex court. He did not seek mercy. He is readying himself to walk into the prison like a man."

The Supreme Court last month sentenced for five years Sanjay Dutt to jail for illegal arms possession during the Mumbai bombings that had killed 257 people in 1993 in the nation's financial hub.

While being asked about his switching over from art films to commercial films Bhatt said, "It's all about continuation of reinvention. I have survived in the film industry because I have continuously reinvented myself."

Reacting on the foreign investments in Bollywood movies, he said, "We have made three films with Fox. I can see the big movie making companies of Hollywood are already here."

He said he feels proud of making films like 'Raaz' and 'Murder'.

"I am very proud of making films like Raaz, Jism and Murder. Through these three films I made more money than I have ever made in my entire life," Bhatt said while answering about making erotic films.

Sanjay Bhudia, MD, Patton Group and Rajeev Singh, Director General, ICC were also present at the event.

--IBNS (Posted on 06-04-2013)

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