Movies

NFDC given Rs 200 mn for helping new filmmakers: Soni

NEW DELHI: While stressing that construction of cinema houses is a state subject, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni today suggested that states should explore the public private partnership mode for extending the chains of theatres in their respective areas.


Accepting that preservation of historical documents or other materials was never a part of common practice in India, Soni announced that the soon-to-be-launched Rs 6.6 billion National Archival Heritage Mission will have a major chunk for Indian cinema.


She said the National Film Development Corporation had been given a sum of Rs 200 million for helping new filmmakers.


Inaugurating a three-day Odia Film Festival to mark 75 years of Odia cinema, Soni saidcinema was the vehicle of promoting the spirit of national integration and, therefore, the Directorate of Film Festivals was mandated to hold festivals of the Indian Panorama films in different parts of the country.


She agreed that the filmmaker was not just in a business, but also an artist and would naturally be hurt if his film was not seen by the people. The endeavour of the Directorate was to promote non-mainstream, regional cinema, and in taking cinema beyond the metropolis. Such festivals had encouraged better appreciation for good cinema across the country.


Union Minister of State for Chemicals Srikant Jena who hails from the state said around 2,50,000 people in the state were involved directly or indirectly with the film industry in Odisha and, therefore, it was important to have more theatres. But he stressed that the state had enough resources to be able to generate funds with some help from the Centre.


Odisha Information and Public Relations Minister Prafulla Samal said although Odia cinema began in the same year as the formation of the state in 1936 with ‘Sita Bibah’, only 42 films could be made till 1976. The second Odia film ‘Lalita’ was made in 1949. However, cinema activity had picked up since then and over 600 features had so far been produced in the state.


Veteran filmmaker Nirad Mohapatra whose film ‘Maya Mriga’ was the opening film said preservation of cinema had to be encouraged and the centre had to step in to help the states in building more theatres. He said cinema was more an art form than a business, adding that 26 films had been made in the state in 2010. Cinema was the career of the culture of the country all over the world, he said.


The Festival has been organised by the DFF in collaboration with the non-governmental Institute for Promotion and Research of Odia Culture and Heritage (IPROCH).


Several film personalities from Odisha were felicitated on the occasion. They included filmmakers AK Bir, Susant Misra, Kapilas Bhuyan, Dilip Patnaik and Santosh Gaur, and actress Anu Chaudhury.

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