MUMBAI: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said that a dedicated channel for short films in the Eleventh Plan was under consideration. Additionally, he said that the government had allocated a sum of Rs 300 million (Rs 30 crores) for modernizing the Pune and Kolkata film institutes.
Dasmunsi was in Mumbai for the inauguration of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) for documentary, short and animation films.
“I understand the agony of documentary film makers for not getting enough avenues to show their work. For this we are also organizing international film festivals in the country to give opportunity to our film makers to not only showcase their work but also get exposure to foreign works too,” he said.
Indian Documentary Producers Association’s (IDPA) Jahnu Barua lamented that documentary films in India were not given any importance. He also said that there was a lack of a dedicated channel to air documentaries. “Documentaries are important public documents that must reach the people. We deserve to be recognized and cherished for our important contribution,” Barua said.
“There is enough space in our media to have documentaries like it is being done in BBC and other foreign news and current affairs channels. We want programs dedicated to documentaries in joint venture between Prasar Bharti and a private partner,” Dasmunsi said.
He added that he was willing to approve a proposal for a documentary film channel within seven days. However, the challenge was to get funds to keep it running. “Today, even 24 hours news and current affairs channels are filling air-time with entertainment related news to survive,” he said.
On the inaugural day of MIFF, the V Shantaram Award for lifetime achievement was given to veteran film maker Harivansh Shyam Sharma. The award was announced by Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.