Panaji : Oscar-winning music director A.R. Rahman and union minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore on Monday hailed in unison cinema as a unifying factor.
Rahman, who was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), also made a pitch for more humanitarian films, calling himself a fan of World Cinema.
"Cinema theatres have become modern shrines of unity. I hope better things will happen and people come with great cinematic, humanitarian movies which will unite the world and also spread culture and make us understand the commonality of consciousness," Rahman said at the event, where he was also paid a musical tribute.
Rathore, whose ministry organises the IFFI every year, in tandem with the Goa government, also said cinema cuts across caste and religion.
"Indian cinema is even more unique. When we go a theatre, it can be an escape from the world, it can be an inspiration for all of us too. The words stay with us. Most of the time we become part of the movie. We silently ally with the underdog in the movie," Rathore said.
"We become part of the film and we carry the message of the film when we go back to our lives," the minister said.
Rathore also said Rahman's very name unites India.
Rahman at an IFFI event on November 25 praised the writers, filmmakers and poets returning government awards in protest against rising intolerance in the country.
"I had gone through something similar a couple of months ago. Nothing should be violent. We are all ultra-civilised people and we should show the world that we are the best civilisation," Rahman said.
"Everything should be done classily. I feel what people are doing is very poetic. We should set an example for the world because we come from the land of Mahatma Gandhi. He has shown how a revolution can have an impact without any violence," he added.
The 11-day festival, the country's biggest international film event, started on November 20.
A total of 187 films from 89 countries, 26 of which are official Academy award entries, were screened at IFFI apart from the films which were part of the Indian panorama section.
South American filmmaker Ciro Guerra's film "Embrace of the Serpent" won the prestigious Golden Peacock award at the event.(IANS)