By Malti Sahai
CANNES, May 15: Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Retd) iugurated the India Pavilion at Cannes Films Festival on Friday.
Speaking at the packed iugural session of the India Pavilion, the Minister said, “New government at the Centre is certainly more decisive and focused and is constantly working towards taking India to higher levels of growth which is inclusive. The government is channelizing that objective through campaigns like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ and realizes that the film industry is an important part of these campaigns given its tremendous potential towards job creation.”
Adding to that the Minister said that, “even though steps may seem slow but they are certainly for sure”. Rathore further said, “India has already signed co–production agreements with some countries. In the last one year, five co–productions have been undertaken with France alone. We need to take these partnerships to the next level.”
He added that the government is rigorously working towards providing a seamless work environment for the film industry by establishing a single window clearance mechanism.
The session also saw unveiling of the 46thIFFI, 2015 regulations and ‘India Film Guide’ by the Minister. The India Film Guide is a comprehensive booklet with information on policy initiatives by the government pertaining to film sector, the listing of Indian companies at Cannes Film Market, Indian Films at Cannes and contacts of important people in the business of film making.
The session was attended by lumiries such as Dr Mohan Kumar, Ambassador of India to France, Bobby Bedi, film maker, ndita Das, actor and film maker, Roshan Baig, Minister of Information and Public Relations, Government of Kartaka, K Sanjay Murthy, Joint Secretary, Films, Ministry of I&B and Ravi Kottarakara, former president, Film Federation of India.
Bobby Bedi in his welcome address said, “India’s presence at Cannes has increased tremendously over the past decade and we have seen an increase in representation in terms of quantity and an improvement in the quality of content as well.”
Dr Kumar said that the ambition should be to get Indian films in the most important category of films at Cannes. He added over the next two to three years he will strive to work on that. The quality of films from India has improved tremendously over the last few years.
Ravi Kottarakara felt that India has on offer some of the best shooting locations in the world. There has been a tremendous change in the Indian film landscape and the sector is definitely going to grow by leaps and bounds. "We should try to experiment more to have a wider global acceptability," Kottarakara said.
ndita Das said she would like to raise the issue of censorship in India. "As we mature, it is important to promote freedom of expression rather than curtailing voices," Das added.
Roshan Baig, Minister of Information and Public Relations, Government of Kartaka, suggested that it will be really great if the regiol film industry is showcased as a part of the delegations to some of the major intertiol film festivals.