We want to make India a powerhouse of content creation: I&B minister Anurag Thakur

The minister was speaking at the closing ceremony of 52nd IFFI in Goa.

Mumbai: Terming India as the world’s largest filmmaker, union minister of information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur said a lot needs to be done to make India a powerhouse of content creation in the world.

Addressing the closing ceremony of the 52nd edition of the International Film Festival of India on Sunday, the union minister said there was also a need to scale 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 said the government is committed to strengthening the National Film Development Council (NFDC). “Through this, you will get the opportunity to make even such films which are doubtful of giving a financial return, we will work together to showcase India's culture and tradition across the world.”

The minister also invited the global community to come and shoot films in India. “Please come and shoot films in India. The Film Facilitation Office will facilitate you with all help you need, from one state to another.” Speaking about the upcoming film city in Uttar Pradesh, the minister said that the state is coming up with a 1000-acre film city. “They are just waiting for the right people to come and invest in.”

Keeping up with the winds of change, the latest edition of IFFI also saw the historic participation of all major OTT platforms such as Netflix, and Amazon Prime through exclusive Masterclasses, content launches and previews, curated film package screenings, and various other on-ground and virtual events. The participation of OTT platforms is set to become a regular feature in future.

“More than 50 films were screened simultaneously on OTT platforms. 10 Master classes and In-Conversation sessions were organised in collaboration with OTT platforms,” said Thakur. “IFFI has embraced new technologies, platform choices of audiences and has kept pace with changing times. We have also showcased the best films from BRICS nations and we hope that this partnership blossoms further.”

The 52nd IFFI presented a diverse catalogue of more than 148 foreign films drawn from 73 countries, and witnessed 12 world premieres, seven international premieres, 24 Asia premiers and 74 India premieres. 75 Indian films were screened, 17 of them specially selected under India @75 Section. As many as 10,000 delegates from across the world, including filmmakers, students and cine enthusiasts participated in a hybrid format. There were 234 screenings in which nearly 450 hours of movies were screened. Total hours watched online comes to a whopping 30,000 plus hours.

Hungarian filmmaker Istevan Szabo and Hollywood filmmaker Martin Scorsese received the coveted Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. Noted lyricist Prasoon Joshi and actor Hema Malini were awarded with Indian Film Personality of the Year Award.

“The next edition of IFFI will be held next year at the same time and place as that of this edition, i.e., during November 20 - 28, 2022 in Goa,” said the union minister.

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