In the dark bleak days of Turkish cinema, when film making virtually rolled to a stop, it was Bollywood which occupied the mindspace of the Turkish filmgoers, leading director M Tayfur Aydin said on Monday.
Aydin's film Do not forget me Istanbul is playing at the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), as part of the 'Country Focus' section on Turkey and its cinema.
"Turkey was at one point the third largest film producing country, after Hollywood and Bollywood. And Bollywood movies were shown in Turkey in the 1980s. There was nothing else to show, Bollywood became an entertainment during these dark days of Turkish cinema, from 1980 to 1993, where there were just 5 or 6 movies a year," he said.
Bollywood, he said, had learnt the rare art of presenting cinema intellectually as well as with emotion.
"When you prepare to serious present art, you go about it very intellectually. But soon you realize that emotions are important too. And Bollywood seems to know that somehow, they know the formulas," he said, adding that Turkey needed to be "inspired" by such cinema.
The 'Country Focus' section intends to promote a greater understanding of the traditions and cultures of the focused country's society through handpicked cinema from the culture in this case that of Turkey.
The Country Focus package at this IFFI has eight films which includes names films like Aydin's Do Not Forget Me Istanbul, Hidden Lives, Love and Revolution, The Son, The Stranger, Trace, Voice of My Father and Where the Fire Burns.