Centre mulls giving financial help to states to help preserve cinema culture

NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is exploring possibilities of extending financial and technical support to State Governments in their efforts to safeguard the country’s film heritage, as Secretary Ajay Mittal said “the objective of preserving the country’s cinematic heritage has to be achieved in collaboration with state governments.”

Speaking on the sidelines of a High Level Committee meeting on National Film Heritage Mission held in National Film Archives of India in Pune today, Mittal said the Committee had taken some major decisions to expand the horizons of the National Film Heritage Mission.

“The mission would ensure not only the preservation of filmic heritage but also its dissemination and access to the last mile. This would create awareness amongst youth and children about our rich cultural heritage” he observed.

Appreciating the efforts of officers at NFAI in implementing the Mission, Mr Mittal said all necessary steps are being undertaken to involve International organizations and institutions to ensure project’s implementation as per global standards. He further added that NFAI’s facilities would be augmented by creating new state-of-the-art vaults in its premises.

Laying thrust on the need for enhancing research on Indian cinema, Mittal said the government is exploring the possibility of extending NFAI’s research fellowship to the University level through formal institutional mechanisms.

“NFAI would reach out to major Universities for short and long term courses in the area of film studies incorporating subjects of film archiving and preservation. This would ensure building of skilled manpower in the niche area of film preservation”, Mittal added.

The High Level Committee meeting was attended by senior officers of the Ministry which included Additional Secretary ad Financial Adviser Subhash Sharma, Joint Secretary (Films) Sanjay Murthy, Films Division Director General Mukesh Sharma, NFAI Director Prakash Magdum, officer on special duty in NFHM Santosh Ajmera, along with filmmakers Jahnu Barua and Rajeev Mehrotra.

National Film Heritage Mission is a prestigious project of the Government for digitization, restoration, preservation and conservation of country’s rich filmic heritage. The mission has budgetary outlay of Rs. 597.41 crore and is to be implemented till 2021. NFAI is the implementing agency for the mission. The High Level Committee chaired by Secretary I&B has been mandated to oversee project’s implementation as per envisaged objectives of the Mission.

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