National film awards to be held on 3 May every year to commemorate 'Raja Harishchandra'

NEW DELHI: The National Film Awards would be presented on 3 May every year since it was on that day in 1913 that the country‘s first indigenous feature film ‘Raja Harishchandra‘ by DG Phalke was released.

According to Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources, there would be a special tableau on Indian cinema at the Republic Day parade on 26 January next year to mark one hundred years of cinema. The government would appreciate if some film personalities took part in this tableau.

The Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tourism Ministry to promote India as a film tourism destination and these two ministries will work with the Home and Culture Ministries towards creating a single window clearance for those wanting to shoot films in various parts of the country.

Cinema is a cultural artifact and therefore has to be preserved. The country had made around 40,000 feature films till 2010 but many had been lost to posterity. The National Film Heritage Mission had been given a sum of Rs 50 billion to help restore and preserve these films and at least 2,500 films were being restored in the first phase.

While video and internet piracy is a major issue, the main need is to create public awareness about this in a multimedia campaign in which the industry must also take part. Plans had been drawn up in the 12th Plan towards this, and sensitisation of police officers would be the first step in this direction.

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