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DTH Updates : Provide slots on TV channels to air value-based content
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PANAJI: President of the Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) Mike Pandey has urged broadcasters to provide slots on television channels to air value-based content.

Addressing presspersons on the status of short films and documentaries in the country, at the Media Centre of the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here on Monday, Mr. Pandey disclosed that talks were being held with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to make it mandatory for broadcasters to set aside at least half-an-hour to air value-based content.

‘Educational value'

Mr. Pandey stressed the high educational value of quality short films, especially if they could reach out to the rural masses. Education was a major challenge, especially for the 67 per cent living in rural India. Without them getting an education our hope of becoming a superpower would remain a dream, he said.

Documentary producers and broadcasters with a reach of about 800 million could come together for this purpose, he added.

‘Poor quality'

Lamenting the poor quality of some documentary films, Mr. Pandey said that 13 National Awards (out of the 33 awards in the documentary/short film category) could not be given this year as the documentaries/short films were not up to the mark. He asked documentary filmmakers to create engaging and quality cinema.

“These films are tools for empowerment; people should learn something new. These are tools of change which pave the way for knowledge and empowerment of society,” said Mr. Pandey whose film, Shores of Silence: Whale-Sharks in India led to legislation for the protection of whale-sharks.

Talking about IDPA's plans for the future, Mr. Pandey said that IDPA was planning to buy a one-hour slot on all television channels to provide pre-school education.

Sanskar Desai, general secretary of IDPA, spoke on various steps taken by the IDPA such as setting up regional coordinators and instituting fellowships for young filmmakers to provide them support and help in screening their works.

Short films

Filmmaker Goutam Ghosh, chairman of the jury on the international competition of short films at the Short Film Centre, IFFI 2010, said that though there were a good number of viewers for short films in the country, TV channels were not doing them justice by screening such films. He said that the Government should make it mandatory for theatres to show short films as was done by the Films Division earlier.

Praising the concept of the Short Film Centre by the Entertainment Society of Goa, Mr. Ghosh said that the possibility of a separate channel for short films needed to be explored.

Cash awards

Naresh Bedi, Chairman of the jury for the Vasudha Award (environmental film section) of short films, told the media that cash awards for environmental films would serve as an incentive for young filmmakers. He lamented that it was tough to mobilise funds to make environmental films.

Source: The Hindu

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