To celebrate the universal language of cinema, an ‘In- Conversation’ session with legendary Hollywood actor and film producer Michael Douglas and producer Shailendra Singh was organized on the sidelines of 54th IFFI in Goa today.
The topical discussion titled ‘Is It Time for One World Cinema?’ threw light on films seeking to transcend geographical boundaries, bringing together filmmakers, storytellers, and audiences from every corner of the globe.
Engaging with film enthusiasts, filmmakers, and industry professionals, Michael Douglas said “A good movie making material, something which is personal and close to one’s home country and having the global potential in its message can appeal to World Cinema.”
He also remarked that in terms of cinema India is quite different compared to most other places as India has an extraordinarily large film industry and has huge population, hence the need and desire to go outside the country is not there as compared to other countries.
Talking about the global appeal of RRR the renowned producer and actor remarked that RRR was such a big hit not only in India but also around the world because the film was made based on India’s own story and with a universal message.
He further added that to see a film succeed, one should make material for themselves and not think if it will reach the rest of the world.
With a career spanning decades and marked by unparalleled success, in his message for the youth of India he said “ I have the most faith in the younger generation as the younger generation own social media and they understand the need to work closely together to try and solve the global problems like Climate Change ”.
Reminiscing about his initial days in the field of production he said it all started with the book ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ at the young age of 23 years, when his father the late legendary Actor Producer Kirk Douglas acquired the book and developed a play. This is when Michael Douglas stepped in and took charge to make the film. He then went on to make the film that became a hit with the lead actor played by Jack Nicholson starring Danny De Vito.
Speaking about his cinematic exploration and what moves him as an actor in selecting a script, he said “The core for me as an actor is to be a part of good movie, no matter if it is a small part. I would rather do a small role in a good film than do a big part in a bad movie.”
Recalling the legacy his father, late Kirk Douglas has left behind, he said his father’s wise words were “As an actor, the hardest thing to do is to be yourself and be simple, the most difficult thing as an actor is to listen; actors only talk and do not listen much”.
He also shared that just as he is carrying his father’s legacy, he aspires his son Dylan Douglas to do the same.
Speaking about challenges he faced as an actor and overcoming stage fright, Michael Douglas said, “Cameras can always catch a lie and first few years were a challenge. To overcome stage fright, I conditioned my mind in such a manner to make myself understand that acting is pretending and trying to convince others, something that we do every day. This very thought helped me in overcoming my fears and master the craft of acting and I began to enjoy it.”
In response to being recognized as a visionary for cinema, Michael Douglas expressed his gratitude. “As a producer, one has to have a 360 degree knowledge of everything that is going on and that is what keeps him going” he remarked.
Recollecting what his father always told him, Shailendra Singh said, “We all strive to get somewhere, films can be made in any part of the world but the biggest reward and celebration of life is the fact that you are breathing and your heart is still beating. Never forget that being alive is the largest celebration of life.”