'There is nothing wrong with Indian cinema, it is the filmmakers who have problems. They are moving away from the tradition because they are embarrassed of it. The people who are making films listen to English songs, their interest in food, clothes and films are non-Indian. 'So how can we expect them to make Indian films?' Akhtar said while speaking on the topic of 100 years of Indian cinema at the CII Media and Entertainment Summit, 2012 today.
The 67-year-old, whose children Farhan and Zoya Akhtar are both directors, said that films nowadays are being made in an international format - shorter and without songs, which is hampering the culture. 'The songs are being played in the background and not included in the films at all. The movies are shorter. Indian films are losing their identity. Songs are integral to Indian films.
Removing them from our films is like omitting songs from an opera performance. They are removing what is the USP of Indian films,' he added. On the other hand, veteran director and seven-time National Award winner Shyam Benegal feels young directors are rather doing a great job with their path-breaking films.
The 77-year-old, who himself is known for creating a new genre of alternate cinema, said, 'I feel that young directors are doing a great job. We have directors like Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Gandhi, who are showing a different kind of narrative in films. 'The work of the new directors are very interesting. They have a capability to hold on to the audience and that is what matters,' he added.
'Sholay' director Ramesh Sippy feels that although there is no dearth of talent in the country, there is no backing. 'There are so many talented filmmakers, who are waiting to be noticed but unfortunately there is no one to back their project financially. So we cannot blame filmmakers for not doing a good job as we don't get to see those great films,' Sippy said.
Spotted: Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma and other celebs at Mumbai airport
Photos: Salman Khan's 'special friend' Iulia Vantur at a song launch
Photos: Hrithik Roshan, Anushka Sharma, other celebs dazzle at event
In Pictures: Sex scandals involving Indian politicians
Photos: Abhishek Bachchan and Farah Khan at Boman Irani's birthday bash