Need to build cultural bridge between India and US: Steven Spielberg
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US filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who made several trips to India as a backpacker in '70s and '80s, feels Americans need to be more aware of Indian cinema and the director is keen to "build the cultural bridge" between the two countries.
"I am not as aware of Indian cinema as I should be sitting here. We don't have great access to Indian films in America," Spielberg told Amitabh Bachchan during a meeting with India's top 60 directors here last evening.
The multiple Oscar-winning filmmaker said Indian films and cinema from the world did not make it to American television screens because of commercial reasons.
When Amitabh Bachchan asked whether Indians needed to do anything to popularise their films in the US, Spielberg said it should be done by his country.
"You don't need to do anything. We need to do it."
"The social networking has shrunk the world... The countries have come closer and they are not so different now. We can share each others' culture and ideas."
The great director is in India to celebrate the success of Lincoln which was co-produced by Anil Ambani's Reliance Entertainment.
"I have propagated the case (of Indian films in the US) and will continue to do so and it is one of the fringe benefits of this great relationship that we have with Reliance Entertainment, Anil Ambani and Amitabh Jhunjhunwala. One of our goals is to build this cultural bridge between India and the US," he said while replying to a question from Amitabh Bachchan.
Talking about his trip to India as a backpacker during his younger days, Spielberg said it was "one of the happiest moments" of his life because he enjoyed anonymity here which was not possible in America post the mega success of Jaws.
"I have been to India several times before. Last time I was here was in 1983... I was here on my own backpacking through the country. I went to lot of places Benaras, Delhi, Kolkata, Jodhpur Jaipur... In 1977... I shot a small scene for my film Close Encounters of the Third Kind in a very small town, about three hours drive away from Bombay," said Spielberg.
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