‘Celebrity value more important than performance’

Mumbai, June 26 (IANS) Television actress Preeti Gupta, who has been part of films like “Blemished Light” and “Mere Haule Dost”, says things are not easy for independent films as cinema is more celebrity-driven in the country.

While “Blemished Light” was screened at the Cannes film festival this year, “Mere Haule Dost” was premiered at the London Asian Film Festival — the latter released here June 7 but failed to impress the audiences or the critics.

“We are a celebrity-run industry. Here celebrity-value is more important than performance,” Preeti told IANS.

But she admits that the Indian audience is evolving.

“In America, Indian cinema and world cinema is recognised and do well. But we are also evolving as an audience. Maybe it is because of the cable… I think it is becoming better,” said the actress who studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute – New York.

Preeti is a big fan of film festivals as people get to see “so many great films” there. “I really like film festivals. In the west, an independent film that has won awards in festivals has a better chance of doing well commercially. But in India, I am not sure… I don’t know how much does it mean to us commercially,” she added.

The actress was part of television shows like “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii” and featured in various ads for brands like “Hero Honda”, “Hyundai Santro” and “Close up”.

“The challenges that I faced while doing TV were completely different. In TV, you have regular work, well-paying work and certain amount of fame also comes with it.

“The challenge in TV is that your role is fluid… it changes according to TRP and what the channel wants. The timings are also challenging. You are constantly fighting against time. But I have a lot of respect for TV, I don’t look down upon it it,” she said.

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