NFDC appoints Om Puri as chairman; lines up seven films


MUMBAI: The Government of India has appointed film actor Om Puri as National Film Development Council’s (NFDC) new chairman. The actor assumed his new role from 4 April for a period of three years.

Additionally, NFDC has also lined up seven films. NFDC has co-produced Lucky Red Seeds with Mirchi Movies, Via Darjeeling with Moxie Entertainment and a co-production with NDTV Imagine titled The White Elephant is to go on floors soon.

K M Madhusudhanan-directed Bioscope is also ready. Bioscope is a solo production film from the NFDC stable in 2008.

Other films like As The River Flows, Beyond The Fence and A Film On India are in various stages of scripting.

In his role as the new chairperson Puri will scout for new talent in all departments of filmmaking. He will go through scripts and explore various opportunities for production and co-production of films for NFDC. He will also promote various workshops like script writing and screen play.

Puri plans to introduce an effective concept called ‘Cooperatives.’ As per this model if a script or film under NFDC demands established and famous actors, NFDC as a production house will approach the cast and crew to work in the film on a subsidized fee. If the film becomes a success at the box office, the profit garnered will be shared between everyone associated with the project on their actual cost basis.

Talking about his role as the chairperson Puri says, "I will be the link between the real world of film makers and NFDC and its policies. I will check the viability and compatibility of the projects undertaken by NFDC. Also, marketing plays an important role, so we will also see to it that our films use contemporary and tailor-made marketing strategies to make them reach to all our discerning audiences all over the country."

Puri’s association with NFDC dates back to the 1980s. He has acted in films produced and financed by NFDC including Ardh Satya, Jaane Bhi Do Yaron, Mirch Masala, Dharavi, Bhavani Bhavai and Current among others.

NFDC managing director Nina Lath Gupta said, "Omji has always been emphatic in his support for significant and parallel cinema. We are very happy to have him lead and direct us in our new endeavors."

Gupta further added that a sum of Rs 300 million (Rs 30 crores) for five years had been allocated by the I&B ministry for the promotion of new talent.

Earlier, Manmohan Shetty of Adlabs, Dadasaheb Phalke awardee and renowned film director late Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Hema Malini had also served as chairpersons at NFDC.