Television

DD Bharati extends deal with Films Division for two years

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NEW DELHI: The Films Division has extended its agreement with DD Bharati to telecast documentaries on Doordarshan’s cultural channel for a period of two more years.

Films Division director general Mukesh Sharma said that the agreement may be extended if the slots prove popular. He was speaking at a workshop on ‘How not to make a film’ at the ongoing Mumbai International Film Festival for Shorts, Documentaries and animation films of which he is the director.

Sharma holds additional charge at FD in addition to his main charge as head of the Mumbai Kendra of Doordarshan.

He said in reply to a question that his predecessor had earlier signed a year-long pact with DD Bharati but he had taken a slot for another two years.

Sharma added that it had become difficult to revive the Films Division slot in cinema halls despite winning a case in the Supreme Court because the judgment had a lot of riders to it. The primary directive that the apex court had made was that the slot should not be confined to FD films but also have other short films.

“A way has to be found for selecting the right kind of films for showing in theatres and this may necessitate a selection body,” Sharma said.

The FD was prepared to give up its demand of payment by theatres, which in any case was less than Rs 10 per show.   

Earlier, Sharma related the experience of a film he had made for the Children’s Film Society, India, where he was then posted, in 1989 where everything appeared to be going wrong but he not only made the film but even went on to win awards. He was originally asked to be the production controller by then Chairperson Jaya Bachchan but ended up being the director, the production controller, an actor, editor, and man Friday for the film, Anokha Asptaal because he had to meet a deadline given to him by the chairperson.

He said though he was lucky because he had planned everything backwards – from the expected date of completion working backwards to finding locations, turning a two-page story into a film script and so on – he would not advise others to do so. 

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