Single Window clearance for filmmmakers to be operational within a month: Varma

NEW DELHI: Noting that he was conscious of the need for a level playing field for Indian filmmakers, information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari has said ways would be found for the single window clearance for even producers from within the country.

The Minister was referring to the single window clearance avenue announced recently for filmmakers from overseas.

The Minister also announced that the Cinematograph Act 1952 was a very old law and was being ‘overhauled‘ in view of the changes in the industry since then.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Centenary of Indian Cinema festival in the capital yesterday evening, the Minister said cinema epitomised the nation and its people.

He said it was a tribute to the film industry that it had ‘grown despite the government and not because of the government‘.

I and B secretary Uday Kumar Varma said the proposal for single window clearance includes a Film Promotion Board to attract foreign filmmakers to Indian shores. This would bring a paradigm shift and will be ready in a month‘s time.

He said the film industry was Rs 90 billion strong in 2011 and was expected to grow to Rs 150 billion by 2016.

Though the box office share globally was a mere seven per cent, Indian films had made it big overseas and two films had recently been released in more than fifty countries simultaneously.

The opening of the festival was followed by the screening of the 1929 silent film ‘Throw of Dice‘ by Franz Osten. The screening was unique in that a live music orchestra of more than thirty persons conducted by maestro Nishat Khan. There were separate screens in front of the musicians so that they could react musically to what was happening on the large screen at Sirifort Auditorium which was filled to capacity.

The minister also inaugurated an exhibition on "Indian Cinema 100 (Celebrating a Century: An Audio Visual Voyage)" and a make-shift mini-theatre named Gulshan Mahal which will screen silent films every day. Gulshan Mahal is the name of the building in Mumbai in which the Museum of Cinematic Arts is coming up.

The six-day festival will conclude on 30 April with a play on the life and times of Dadasaheb Phalke by Aamir Raza Hussain.

The festival is being held at the Siri Fort auditorium as well as other venues such as Jamia Milia Islamia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and India Habitat Center in an effort to bring the festival to the doorstep of film lovers in the capital.

The extravaganza will include screenings of some classics as well as contemporary Indian films by master directors such as Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Shyam Benegal, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and others.

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