The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) plans to roll out a fund for promotion of the films that bag the feather of India’s official entry to the Academy Awards under the foreign film category.
In his inaugural speech at the press conference of the 47th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), the I&B minister M. Venkaiah Naidu announced that not only the official entries to the Oscars, the I&B ministry will also fund the films that are officially selected for major international festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Busan, Locarno, Sundance and Rotterdam. The new initiative is definitely a positive approach from the government in terms of showcasing the quality of independent cinema in India and will work as a motivational factor for the filmmakers to say the least.
At the curtain raiser press conference of the IFFI held at the National Media Centre in New Delhi, the minister elucidated the financial assistance promised to the filmmakers. This aid will facilitate the filmmakers to promote their films at the international film festivals taking care of the major expenses such as the engagement of publicists, travel and accommodation of the director and the key talents, screenings, advertising and networking.
The Directorate of Film Festivals has been designated as the nodal agency for implementing this initiative based on the recommendations of a panel of experts constituted by the government.
Proposed funds and global outreach
The films that will be selected to represent India at Oscars will receive an amount of INR 5,000,000 to INR 10,000,000 (EUR 67,535-135,071) as per the proposal. Similarly, the maximum amount for a filmmaker for the competition section of Cannes film festival will be INR 2,000,000(EUR 27,014) while in Un Certain Regard and Director’s Fortnight the amount would be INR 1,500,000 (EUR 20,260).
If a filmmaker makes it to the ‘In Competition’ section of the Venice film festival, the amount proposed is INR 1,500,000 (EUR 20,260). For the Toronto International Film Festival and Busan’s new currents section, the value is INR 1,000,000 (EUR 13,507). For the window of Asian Cinema section of the Busan International Film Festival and Locarno International Film Festival, the amount is INR 750,000 (EUR 10,130). Moreover, films going to festivals like Sundance, Rotterdam and Berlin also qualify for the assistance.
The Indian government aims to continue its strong support for film tourism as a major tourism ambassador for the global travellers. Furthermore, I&B Ministry are now looking at projecting India as a suitable filming destination for international projects as well. “India has successfully attracted global stakeholders from various quarters of the film industry and the country’s expertise was accepted globally at international festivals,” Naidu said.
The challenges faced by the independent filmmakers in India were majorly around the fact that there was no financial support to represent their films at major international festivals. Travelling to Europe or the United States taking into account the advertising, publicity and screening costs, there was very little scope to promote Indian works abroad. However, the new scheme will garner interest as well as motivation for the filmmakers planning to send their works abroad.
Financial assistance would be provided to the filmmakers for promotion of their films at these international film festivals across the world
— M Venkaiah Naidu (@MVenkaiahNaidu) November 1, 2016
The 47th edition of the International Film Festival of India would commence on November 20 and run till November 28. The film festival, besides showcasing films from across the globe, would also bring interactive sessions, workshops and informative classes from global masters of the art in Direction, Documentary film making, Editing, Art Direction, Cinematography, VFX & Animation and Action Direction.