At a time when the social medium is "slowly but surely" isolating people, cinema helps bring them together by breaking preconceptions through stories that are "completely different from our own", says actor Deepika Padukone.
The actor, who is the chairperson of the Mumbai International Film Festival, on Thursday said she may look like someone "too mainstream" or "too young" for the job but her aim is to learn and give back to the community.
"In the age of digital streaming and social media that is slowly but surely isolating us, the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) binds us without boundaries, inhibitions and, most importantly, without fear.
"As an artiste who believes in the power of cinema, We need this now than ever before," Deepika said at the opening ceremony of the 21st Jio MAMI Mumbai Film festival.
The actor said she was a firm believer in cinema's power in breaking barriers. "Now, more than ever before, we need to talk to each other and cinema is the best medium for doing that. Cinema has the power to not make you feel lonely when you are," Deepika said quoting Martin Scorsese and Tom Hanks.
"And I couldn't agree more. Cinema has the ability to break preconceptions and open our eyes to stories and lives completely different from our own. It has the power to evoke empathy, kindness and experience innocence."
Deepika said in her new role as a chairperson, she is committed to help achieve the academy's vision. "Many of you would be wondering why I am here and that the role of a chairperson is for someone older (and) wiser. Many others believe I am too young, mainstream, too tall and what I am wearing," Deepika said, adding that she was at the festival because she wants to "learn and give back to a community that has given me so much - my identity".
"And for any mistake that I may make along the way, consider that as my learning," she added.
Deepika will next be seen in Meghna Gulzar's Chhapaak and in 83, directed by Kabir Khan.