Movies

Rs-500m film digitisation, sound restoration & software RFPs to be floated in '17-18

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NEW DELHI: Noting that substantial under-utilisation of funds under the National Film Heritage Mission has reflected in the overall idling of fund in the film sector as a whole during 2016-17, a Parliamentary Committee has asked the information and broadcasting ministry to ensure optimal utilisation of funds during the year 2017-18.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, which also examines issues relating to MIB, stated that special care should be taken to ensure that realistic assessments are made to achieve the physical targets under the scheme so that unhindered implementation takes place in this important activity of the Ministry.

Expressed concern that even though the Scheme was approved in November 2014, the project had not kicked off due to procedural delay, the Committee asked the Ministry to ensure that the envisaged physical targets are achieved giving a real boost to the proliferation of activities under the Film Sector.

When questioned, the Ministry informed the Committee that at the commencement of the Plan Scheme, it was assumed that the executive agency for the works like film condition assessment of film reels, preservation, conservation of film reels, and digitization of film reels would be in place during 2016-17.

However, the fund allocation under this Scheme was downsized at budget and revised estimate stages (2016-17) to Rs 300 million and Rs160 million, respectively.

The Ministry said there was delay in selection of implementing agency and signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the proposed implementing agency due to service charge issue.

It was informed that major RFPs (request for proposals) for preventive conservation of film reels, digitization of films, 2K/4K picture and sound restoration of landmark feature films and short films, end-to-end IT software, CCTV implementation, etc. are proposed to be floated during 2017-18 for which an allocation of Rs 500 million has been made.

The Scheme of National Film Heritage Mission aims at restoring films of historical, cultural and aesthetic value and construct archival and preservation facilities.

It envisages restoration of 1200 feature films and around 1600 short films apart from preventive conservation of more than 1,00,000 film reels and creation of additional storage facilities.

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