Two film institutes to be upgraded to global standards

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Mumbai, Feb 4 (IANS) Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi has said that the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune and Satyajit Ray Film Institute (SRFI) in Kolkata will soon be upgraded to match global standards.

While inaugurating the 10th biennial Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films here Sunday, Dasmunsi said his ministry is in touch with similar institutes in the West and also with Hollywood to make these two premier institutes global filmmaking centres.

He said he would ensure that both institutions get a separate fund for redevelopment in the 11th Finance Commission.

The minister was quick to react to the angst expressed by Jahnu Barua, president of the Indian Documentary Producers' Association (IDPA), that Indian documentary and short movie producers do not find outlets to exhibit their productions.

"I am aware of the problem. My ministry is looking into the economic aspects of it. I assure Barua and the IDPA that they will soon have something to cheer about," Dasmunsi said.

He also said that if someone came to him with the proposal of setting up a channel exclusively devoted to documentaries and short movies, like the National Geographic, he would clear it within a week.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and State Culture Minister Ashok Chavan also attended the inaugural function that was held at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) in south Mumbai.

Deshmukh announced that the V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award would be given to Aribam Shyam Sharma, a noted filmmaker from Manipur.

Bollywood star Vidya Balan was present to add glamour to the otherwise perfunctory ceremony, mainly attended by delegates from different parts the country and a few from abroad.

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