Minister for Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said cinema should reflect larger social concerns besides focusing on entertainment.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the nine-day 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here, Mr. Naidu said cinema should focus on promoting national consciousness and social integration as cinema was religion without boundaries.
“Films should illuminate the mind and heart, engaging audience both intellectually and emotionally. They should expose people to ideas, problems and developments happening in society and make them think critically and look for alternative solutions and actions. In a country like India, with its several social problems, a case could be made for social realism in our films,” Mr. Naidu said.
Elaborating about the role of cinema and social change, Mr. Naidu said the demonetisation scheme was a national project of behavioural change of an unprecedented scale and urged film-makers to analyse and present the consequences of this change to the people in a creative manner.
He spoke of the government initiatives to support the film industry in the form of a single window Film Facilitation Office in the National Film Development Corporation and a National Film Heritage Mission to restore and digitise film archives.
Incidentally, the main theme of the festival’s inaugural ceremony was ‘Ode to a Woman’, which celebrated the journey and contribution of women in Indian Cinema.
Filmmaker Ramesh Sippy was the chief guest. Goa Governor Mridula Sinha, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, and Cho Hyun, Ambassador, Republic of Korea, were present.
Acclaimed playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam was conferred the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year 2016 for his contribution to Indian cinema. This year, the singer has completed five decades in the film industry.
Korean writer and director, Im Kwon Taek, was conferred ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. In his five-decades career, he has directed more than 100 films and has won many awards. The Republic of Korea is the partner country for IFFI 2016.