Terming India as the world’s largest filmmaker, India’s Minister for Information & Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur on Sunday said the government’s aim is to make the country a content powerhouse and a hub for post-production activities.
“We want to make India a powerhouse of content creation, by scaling up regional festivals. We want to make India the post-production hub of the world by leveraging immense tech talent of youth. We want to make India the destination for films and festivals, we want to make India the hub of world cinema, and the most favoured place for storytellers,” Thakur passionately said in his closing address at the 52ndedition of the International Film festival of India (IFFI) in Panaji, Goa.
Pointing out that this year’s IFFI was a festival of many firsts, the Minister said, “For the first time…we had the presence and enthusiastic participation of OTT platforms. IFFI has embraced new technologies, platform choices of audiences and has kept pace with changing times.”
Most major OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and SonyLIV participated in the film festival through exclusive master-classes, content launches and previews, curated film package screenings, and various other on-ground and virtual events.
“More than 50 films were screened simultaneously on OTT platforms. 10 Master classes and In-Conversation sessions were organized in collaboration with OTT platforms. Manoj Bajpayee, Hrithik Roshan, Shoojit Sircar (Bollywood stars and filmmakers) amongst many other masters of cinema shared their experiences and art at the festival,” Thakur said, promising participation of OTT platforms will become a regular feature in IFFI’s future.
The Minister highlighted that this year’s IFFI presented a unique experience for the film enthusiasts with a diverse catalogue of more than 148 foreign films drawn from 73 countries. The festival witnessed 12 world premieres, 7 international premieres, 24 Asia premiers and 74 India premieres. 75 Indian films were screened, 17 of them specially selected under India @75 Section.
Appreciating the participation of international delegates after having travelled to India amidst the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Thakur invited the global community to come and shoot films in India.
“Please come and shoot films in India. Film Facilitation Office will facilitate you with all help you need, “ he said, adding that the upcoming 100-acre film city in the northern State of Uttar Pradesh was “just waiting for the right people to come and invest in”.