Television

NDTV to telecast DD-supported documentaries

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NEW DELHI: Many channels owe their origins or at least their talent to Doordarshan. Prannoy Roy began his television innings in a weekly programme on Doordarshan. Now, NDTV headed by him is to become the first privately-owned channel to screen films made by the Prasar Bharati-supported Public Service Broadcasting Trust.

The Trust (SSBT) and New Delhi Television (NDTV) have entered into a significant partnership for the promotion of documentary and reality films. PSBT’s films are already being telecast on Doordarshan every week and at numerous national and international fora. They will now be telecast each month on NDTV’s flagship channel NDTV 24x7 as part of the NDTV series ‘Documentary 24x7’, every Thursday at 21:30 hrs and repeated on Sundays at 0130 hrs. 

According to a PSBT spokesperson, the partnership provides an ideal platform for the exploration of myriad issues that these documentaries deal with and for enhancing the viewership of powerful and insightful content. The effort will go a long way in creating and encouraging a public culture of documentary appreciation and engagement. 

Renowned filmmaker and PSBT Chairperson Adoor Gopalakrishnan said: “We welcome exposure for the excellent films produced by PSBT on a private commercial channel. With the terrible decline in the standards of commercial television, this is a very praiseworthy effort by NDTV. Our films are produced by independent filmmakers, most of them young, partially funded by Doordarshan. The future for public broadcasting lies in efforts such as these that demonstrate the potential of public-private partnerships”.

Two PSBT films have been telecast on NDTV over the last month: Spot the Difference by Vivek Mohan, which documents the everyday lived similarities of a Chinese and Tibetan family despite underlying political differences, and Sharira by Ein Lall which explores the life of Chandralekha, an extraordinary and celebrated dancer and the interconnections between body, movement, sexuality, sensuality and spirituality.

PSBT is a non-profit trust that represents the confluence of energies to foster a shared public culture of broadcasting that is exciting and cutting edge. PSBT’s pioneering work revolves around the creation of independent films that are socially responsive and representative of democratic values. It seeks to situate a new vocabulary and activism at the very heart of broadcasting in India and this endeavour will open up new spaces for engagement with the form and content of documentary films in the mainstream public media.

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