GUWAHATI, Oct 28 - The first ever Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) 2017 got under way on a grand note today with the screening of Oscar-winning movie The Salesman, a joint collaboration of Iran and France. During the six-day festival, a total of 78 films from 32 countries will be screened.
Turkey is the �focus country� of the film festival being organised by the Jyoti Chitraban (Film Studio) Society with the support of the Government of Assam in association with the Dr Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute.
Inaugurating the festival, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, the GIFF �will be a launchpad for Assamese films to conquer the world and the government will make this film festival an annual event.�
Speaking about the government�s commitment to the growth of the film industry in Assam, the Chief Minister said that the State government has decided to give a subsidy of Rs 50 lakh for reopening of closed cinema halls and Rs 25 lakh for renovation of the existing or functional cinema halls.
Sonowal also informed that in case of establishment of new cinema halls the State government has decided to provide a subsidy of 25 per cent of the capital cost. Moreover, the State government has also decided to increase the number of films to which government provides financial assistance.
The Chief Minister said the government will establish one �State School of Drama� for preserving theatrical traditions of the State. The government would also preserve the Chitraban Film Studio at Bholaguri Tea Estate set up by Rupkonwar Jyotiprasad Agarwala as a mark of respect to the legendary filmmaker.
Sonowal said the GIFF will be a catalyst to the Act East Policy that envisages to make Guwahati as the gateway to Southeast Asian nations. He also hoped that the presence of different countries in the film festival would also lead to cultural and business exchanges between Assam and those nations.
The Chief Minister said the new tourism policy of the State also features many financial advantages for outside filmmakers coming to Assam for shooting their films. There are also provisions for financial grants for making films on Assam�s culture, tourism and heritage, he said.
The inaugural function at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra was attended by a host of dignitaries, including Iranian Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari, Czech Republic Ambassador to India Milan Hovorka and eminent film personalities such as Jahnu Barua and Shaji N Karun.