Benegal also believes that the boom in television had an impact on cinema, which slowed him down professionally. He said, “Television grew and the audience of cinema shrank. Then the TV spread and things went everywhere. It gave us pause and hence, we were not able to make the kind of films that we wanted to.” He always wanted to keep making films like Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman without any breaks.
While he continues to watch contemporary cinema, he laments the lack of theatrical releases today and the 87-year-old believes that the growth of content on OTT plays a part in that direction. To this he said, “There was a time when India was making the most number of films. When I started making feature films, I was doing three films in two years. Actually, there was a time when I used to have two films in a year. Even today films are being made for the web space. Yes, a little bit of the traditional form of cinema is still being made, but in languages I don’t know.”