Om Puri terms on-screen smoking ban 'impractical'

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Allahabad, Jun 12 (UNI) Veteran actor and New National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) chairperson Om Puri disagrees with Union Health Minister Ambumani Ramadoss's belief that on-screen smoking has a negative impact on audience.

''In no way can on-screen smoking trigger the same among audience.

It can only lead to passive smoking, if the stars smoke in public places like restaurants or cricket stadiums,'' Puri, the two time National Award winner, today told UNI here.

He won the National Award for Best Actor twice, in 1984 for his performances in 'Ardh', 'Satya' and in 1982 for 'Arohan'. He also won the 1981 Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in 'Aakrosh'.

''The purpose of NFDC is to promote meaningful cinema and for this, we would do our best. The corporation is producing five films, of which three are ready and rests in process,'' added the veteran actor who was also nominated for the BAFTA award for his performance in 'East is East', and awarded an honorary OBE in July 2004 for his performances in English movies.

On weak participation of Indian cinema in Oscars, he noted Hindi cinema needs universal theme to work.

The actor also showed concern on the remake of hit Hollywood and other languages' movies in Hindi.

''Oscar is not the parameter of our film's quality. Instead of getting an Oscar, we should concentrate to reach universal market.

But, if we would make remakes of Hollywood flicks, why would they award us,'' he observed.

The NFDC chairperson further applauded the bridging between parallel cinema and commercial cinema. ''Parallel cinema is changing. Bimal Rai, Guru Dutt, V Shantaram made films which conveyed messages...these films also did brisk business at the box office.

Now, this era is returning, films like Halla Bol, Sarkar Raj, and Tare Zameen Par are meaningful and also have the commercial values,'' he added.

Puri had been honoured with the two most prestigious awards in the Indian film industry, which are the National Film Awards and the Filmfare Awards.

UNI VCP JAS ATI AS2011

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