Television

DD strengthens its movie library; to screen acclaimed films twice a week

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NEW DELHI: The national broadcaster - Doordarshan - is launching a new slot for acclaimed Indian feature films in all languages that have either won national or international honours, featured in the Indian Panorama, or been part of competition sections of 16 renowned international film festivals.

The films will be screened on Sunday and Monday nights at 11:00 pm from the coming weekend and will be subtitled in English. With revenue earnings of Rs 15 lakh per screening and holding the rights for three years; the pubcaster clarified that the rights were not exclusive.

In the event of a film being offered for a premiere on DD, the amount to be paid will go up to Rs 25 lakh.

Doordarshan Director General Tripurari Sharan told indiantelevision.com that the ‘Best of Indian Cinema’ initiative was part of the celebrations on the centenary of Indian cinema.

Answering a question, he said a similar slot for such films in the eighties and early nineties had fizzled out for various reasons including the fact that the prime time was restricted to around 9:00 pm and viewers generally did not watch television after that. But the entry of the private channels had changed the scenario.

He claimed that DD was the only channel showing such films. However, Lok Sabha TV also has a similar slot on Sundays, though the window for the kind of films it will take is not as large as the one DD is embarking upon.

Sharan clarified that as most films had a U/A certification, they could not be shown before 11:00 pm.

Initially, DD had decided to keep this slot for one year with a total of 104 films. He added that DD had decided to have a cut-off date, and so the slot will only screen films made post the year 2000.

Sharan said that there was need to support these films as they are meant for niche audiences.

However, this slot will mean that the popular Bioscope slot in which meaningful films are shown in three parts from Monday to Wednesday at 11:00 pm will now be curtailed to Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Answering questions at an informal press meet, he said that other time slots could be considered for these films in the event of viewers demand. Furthermore, DD could also consider increasing the frequency of the screening of such films from twice a week to more days. Referring to Sunday afternoons, he added that the slot was already reserved for retrospectives of eminent film personalities.

On the marketing front, there are already print advertisements that would begin appearing from this weekend, e-flyers to several thousand persons on the list of DD, and social media like Facebook.

The first four films in this slot are the Malayalam movie Nizhalkkuthu by the famed Adoor Gopalakrishnan on 10 November, the Marathi drama Deeol by Umesh Kulkarni on 11 November, the Konkani film Digant by Dyanesh Moghe on 17 November, and the Bangla Nisshabd by Jahar Kanungo on 18 November.

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