Subsidy worth one crore rupees given to 55 film producers in first phase

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 13: “Films have so much power to spread messages and bring about change in society. Viewers find an escape from their reality in the world of cinema as they laugh, cry and feel various emotions in the course of a film. Artistes and filmmakers wield great influence over the society and they must play their roles in guiding the youths in the right direction.” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said this while distributing subsidy to film producers under the Assam State Film Finance and Development Corporation (ASFFDC) at a programme held at the Janata Bhawan here today.

A total of 55 films including 45 feature films, six documentaries and four short films were selected for subsidy worth Rs 1 core by ASFFDC in the first phase. The producers of the films, which were made between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2020, were provided subsidies to encourage them in their filmmaking endeavours.

Reminiscing about his childhood experiences of watching films, Sonowal said films had cast a spell on him during his formative years as he was in awe of the things he saw on the big screen and urged the filmmakers of Assam to explore and highlight the State’s potentials and natural beauty before the world. He also called upon people engaged in filmmaking to focus on farmers so that the young generation can be inspired by the determination and perseverance of the farmers in overcoming challenges.

Recalling how Jyotiprasad Agarwala made visionary initiatives to make Assam’s first feature film Joymoti way back in 1935 braving all odds, Sonowal said that Assam’s film industry has a glorious history and Joymoti was a true testament of women empowerment when Aideu Handique defied societal restrictions to act in a film. He stressed the importance of science and technology in the modern age and called upon the filmmakers to make concerted efforts to tell Assam’s stories to audiences worldwide.

Terming the artistes as messengers of God, the Chief Minister said they have the great responsibility of setting the right examples before the young generation and guiding society through their creations. He also referred to Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s song Jilikabo Luitore Paar and said that all sections of society must join hands to develop the State at a rapid pace.

Cultural Affairs Minister Naba Kumar Doley said his department has been striving to encourage the filmmakers of the State through a plethora of steps like importing filming equipment from Germany which would be provided to filmmakers on rent at subsidised rates. He called for initiatives by all stakeholders for making the State a hub of film production in the entire South East Asia.

Chairperson of ASFFDC Suman Haripriya in her welcome address spoke about various steps taken by the corporation like submitting proposals for setting up filmmaking training institutes at each district headquarters, production of a feature film by Rima Das, etc. She also underlined the employment generation potential of the film industry, adding that steps have been taken to develop the Assamese film industry.