Mel Gibson thinks the film industry is becoming more ''difficult''.

The actor has a stake in production company Icon Productions, but hasn't been investing in as many projects recently because it's not always ''cost effective'' to make great independent movies.

Speaking at the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival, he told ''I've still got Icon, and if I see something that is really cool and worthwhile doing, and cost effective... Like the other independents, I'm not in there to get burned. But it's becoming more difficult, put it that way, for everybody.''

Gibson lamented the major fact studios are putting all their money into blockbusters and shunning independent movies, comparing the process of trying to get an indie film green-lit to being ''raped and beaten''.

He said: ''It's just the way things are. There's been a big shift in the way things used to be. I mean, there aren't as many films being done at the studios, and they tend to gravitate toward the big blockbustery things with pyrotechnics and stuff like that, which is valid. They are entertaining.

''I think stories of more substance are not as sought-after or fostered as much. And of course those things are left largely to the independent filmmakers. For the independent filmmakers, traditionally, it's been more difficult to get distribution, and to get back what you put in. It's just more difficult. And there are a lot of gatekeepers along the way.

''It's like anything. There are a lot more hurdles to overcome. You are going to get robbed and raped and beaten. It's just part of the game. There are a lot of sharks in the water.''

Mel picked up the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the film festival on Friday (04.07.14).