DD should reserve weekly slot for documentaries: Jahnu Barua

PANAJI: Noted filmmaker Jahnu Barua has demanded that pubcaster Doordarshan should reserve a weekly slot for short films so that these filmmakers get an outlet.

A lot of ground needs to be covered to propagate documentary film viewing in India, Barua said, adding that a movement needs to be built to create understanding of the short film format.

Barua feels that with the advent of technical ease, there is a spurt in short filmmaking but there is lack of awareness and outlets.

Barua, who is the president of Indian Documentary Producers Association, disclosed that IDPA was emphasizing the concept of documentary as education to generate interest among youth. In this connection many educational institutions are being contacted and are being provided technical support for promoting documentary film viewing. A Guwahati College will hold documentary film festival from 17th to 19th December, he said.

In a reply to a question on market for documentary, Barua said a lot of activities are taking place in avenues like Film Bazaar of IFFI, but he lamented the lack of interest by Indian buyers.

Association Vice-President Ramesh Tekwani underlined the growing market for content in emerging platforms like mobile phones. However, he was emphatic that without a viable plan for financial returns, the movement will not reach the desired level. He expressed concern that Indian television channels have not developed a viable system of commissioning documentaries. Due to its fragmented nature, it is increasingly difficult to measure the economic contribution of documentaries in the content market, he added.

IDPA Goa coordinator Gurudas Kamat said there is rise in Goa’s participation in the short film centre of IFFI and the Association is undertaking a special drive to increase the membership of Goan filmmakers. He also said technical seminars on various aspects of filmmaking are also being organized in the educational institutes in the state.

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