GUWAHATI, Feb 12 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today inaugurated the first ever film archive in the North East in Panjabari area of the city.
Speaking on the occasion, Gogoi said that a new chapter has been added to the history of Assamese film industry with the coming up of the archive.
�Films are part of our lives and they are our assets. It is our bounden duty to preserve the films for posterity,� he said.
He also appreciated that films made in other parts of the region, apart from Assamese films, would also be preserved at the archive.
Assuring of all help and assistance, Gogoi announced Rs 5 crore for further development of the archive.
He said the Government has taken initiatives to help preserve traditional musical instruments, utensils, attires and agricultural implements at the Assam State Museum and at Sankardeva Kalakshetra.
Addressing the gathering, former Director of National Film Archive of India, PK Nair, said the step taken by the State Government to set up the archive is a step in the right direction.
Nair, the man who has been the brain behind the setting up of the National Film Archive of India, and a consultant with the Film Archive of the North Eastern Region, suggested that efforts should be made to retrieve the original prints of the films so that it could be converted into digital format.
Renowned director, Jahnu Baruah, said that the Film Archive has fulfilled a long-felt need of the filmmakers of the North East region �as the lack of it had resulted in many rare films lost forever due to the absence of scientific preservation in the region�.
Earlier, Chairperson of Assam State Film (Finance & Development) Corporation Ltd (ASFFDC), Bobbeeta Sharma in her welcome address, said that funds from the PM�s MPLAD and State Government have helped towards setting of the archive, a part of Jonakee project. She requested for a corpus fund from the State Government so that a minimum loan of Rs 20 lakh could be extended to a filmmaker for producing a film.
Sharma said that out of the 333 films produced so far in Assamese, only 65 could be collected and preserved at the archive, the oldest one being Mak Aru Maram dating back to 1957.