‘Bollywood needs to appeal to bigger audiences’ says Irfan Khan

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The 46-year-old made his Hollywood breakthrough in 2008’s Academy Award-winning Slumdog Millionaire.

He told : “We need to find a way of telling stories where a universal audience finds itself engaged in the storytelling. That’s one thing we need to do, and that’s one thing we have not been doing.

“There are new directors who are trying to tackle subjects which weren’t dealt with earlier. Madras Cafe is an example because we don’t make political films, but that’s a well-made movie.

“We cannot continue being known as item number filmmakers. Bollywood is known as an item number, and we have to change that. We have to connect with a universal audience in a way that they think that there is some interesting kind of cinema coming out of India.”

He added that he thinks his own films, including the Cannes Film Festival success The Lunchbox, can change international audiences’ perception of Indian filmmaking.

“We need to find a universal language, which I think Qissa will be able to strike a chord with, and The Lunchbox has done in a big way,” he said.

In October, Khan admitted that he was disappointed that The Lunchbox failed to become India’s selection for next year’s Academy Awards.

The Life of Pi actor has previously said that Bollywood cinema has no credibilitywith foreign audiences.