NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Committee has expressed regret that no attempt has been made over the years to promote Indian cinema internationally and the presence of Indian cinema in international film festivals such as Cannes or Locarno Film Festival is 'insignificant'.
After an analysis of documents provided by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Standing Committee on Information Technology has said the intervention of the Ministry in areas of promotion of films internationally through its schemes such as "Export Promotion Through Film Festivals" and "Participation in Film Markets in India and Abroad" has not been up to the desired level.
The share of major markets for the Indian films worldwide has been declining over the years due to factors such as decline in quantum of film selection in leading international film festivals, commercial viability being the driver in Indian film sector and promotion of Indian cinema in a fragmented manner. The Committee notes that this has been brought out in two evaluation studies conducted under the aegis of the Ministry.
It notes that India is the largest producer of films in the world, producing films in 26 languages. It produces more than 1000 films per year in different languages.
The Committee observes that the Ministry has taken some initiatives in partnership with the Tourism Ministry with a view to providing a platform to Indian filmmakers to promote and carry out their business activities effectively. The Committee has recommended that during the Twelfth Plan, a concerted effort should be made to ensure that promotion of Indian cinema abroad is carried out in a more structured and vociferous manner.
The Ministry admitted that in the past few decades, Indian cinema had not attained as much acclaim as it enjoyed up to the 1970s or even in the 1980s.
On the initiatives taken to reverse the aforesaid trend of decline of Indian Films internationally, the Committee was told by the Ministry that during the later part of the 11th Plan, a concerted effort has been made by the Ministry to ensure that promotion of Indian cinema abroad is carried out in a more structured manner.
With effect from 2011-12, Cinemas of India have been made a sub-brand of Incredible India and promotion across the world carried out accordingly, highlighting the unique multi-lingual diversity of the Indian film sector. In recent years, a Film Market (Film Bazaar) that is held alongside the International Film Festival of India has been developed and has grown to become a major platform for facilitating collaborations between the Indian and international film fraternity in the realms of production and distribution. Several projects presented in Film Bazaar for purposes of seeking potential co-producers across the world have fructified into actual deals, leading to a surge in co-productions.
The Ministry said international co-productions not only facilitate inflow of finance for production of a film, but more importantly, also open markets for distribution of such films.