MUMBAI: Shekhar Kapur, who headed the feature film jury for this year's National Film Awards, has said the quality of regional cinema left him "stunned".
The veteran filmmker appealed to the media to highlight the good films being made outside mainstream Hindi cinema.
While announcing the National Film Awards on Friday, Kapur said he was moved by the regional cinema, particularly Malayalam, and films such as "Bhayanakam", "Take Off", and "Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum".
The 72-year-old director tweeted, "What an eye-opener it has been chairing the National Film Awards 2018. The quality of regional cinema has left us stunned. It's world class and it's time to take away the tag of regional cinema.For Hindi cinema no longer can compete with the quality we saw from other languages."
Kapur also said the mainstream media should focus more on regional films, which remains "hidden" from the audiences.
"Unfortunately, mainstream media and Bollywood enjoy a highly incestuous relationship. So the brilliance of the new regional cinema remains hidden from audiences. It's time for that to change," he tweeted.
At the awards, the "Bandit Queen" director also praised "Village Rockstars", the best feature film winner, saying he did not know films from Assam also went to Cannes Film Festival.