India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has announced the merger of four of its film media units, Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives, and Children’s Film Society, with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC).
The NFDC will now carry out all the functions that were being performed by the separate film units, as a single entity. “The merger of film media units under one corporation will lead to convergence of activities and resources and better coordination, thereby ensuring synergy and efficiency in achieving the mandate of each media unit,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Films Division was established in 1948, primarily to produce documentaries, shorts and news magazines recording government programs and keeping a cinematic record of Indian history.
The Children’s Film Society was formed in 1955 to provide children and young people value-based entertainment through the medium of films, while the National Film Archives was established in 1964 with the objective of acquiring and preserving Indian cinematic heritage.
The Directorate of Film Festivals was set up in 1973 to promote Indian films and cultural exchange, and NFDC was started in 1975 with the objective of overseeing an integrated development of the Indian film industry. The NFDC has produced or co-produced several acclaimed films including “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron,” “Gandhi,” “Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost” and “The Lunchbox.”
As an umbrella organization, the NFDC will be responsible for promotion, production and preservation of film content, all under one management. The vision of the new entity will be to “ensure balanced and focused development of Indian cinema in all its genres — feature films, including films /content for the OTT platforms, children’s content, animation, short films and documentaries,” the ministry said.
Employees of all the previously separate units will retain their jobs with no layoffs expected. The merger will lead to reduction in duplication of activities and direct savings to the exchequer, the ministry stated.
Welcoming the move, veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai (“Karma”) tweeted: “Historic step. All the various Govt media institutions coming under one umbrella of INB ministry is great step to facilitate our film industry n artistes to approach to one entity than various individuals.”
The Film Federation of India, an organization comprising producers, distributors, exhibitors and studio owners, which selects India’s entry to the Oscars, remains a separate autonomous body.
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