The Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has announced the merger of four of its film media units, the Film Department, the Film Festival Administration, the National Film Archives and the Children’s Film Society, with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC).
The NFDC will now perform all functions performed by separate film units, as a single entity. “Merging film media units within a single corporation will lead to closer activities and resources and better coordination, thus ensuring synergy and efficiency in achieving the mandate of each media unit,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Film Department was established in 1948, primarily to produce documentaries, short films and newspaper magazines that record government programs and keep cinematic records of Indian history.
The Children’s Film Society was founded in 1955 to provide children and young people with value-based entertainment through films, while the National Film Archive was established in 1964 with the aim of acquiring and preserving India’s cinematic heritage.
The Directorate for Film Festivals was established in 1973 with the aim of promoting Indian film and cultural exchange, and the NFDC was launched in 1975 with the aim of overseeing the integrated development of the Indian film industry. NFDC has produced or co-produced several acclaimed films, including “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron,” “Gandhi,” “Qissa: A Tale of a Lonely Ghost,” and “Lunchbox.”
As an umbrella organization, NFDC will be responsible for the promotion, production and preservation of film content, all under one management. The vision of the new entity will be “to ensure the balanced and focused development of Indian cinema in all its genres – feature films, including films / content for OTT platforms, children’s content, animations, short films and documentaries,” the ministry said.
Employees in all previously separate units will keep the job without expecting layoffs. The merger will lead to a reduction in duplication of activities and direct savings in the state treasury, the ministry said.
Welcoming the move, veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai (“Karma”) tweeted, “A historic step. All the different government media institutions that come under one umbrella of the INB ministry are a great step to make it easier for our film industry artists to access one entity from different individuals. “
Historical step 🎥
All the various government media institutions that come under one umbrella of the INB ministry are a great step to make it easier for our film industry artists to access one entity from different individuals.
Congratulations, thank you @narendramodi @MIB_India @PrakashJavdekar
– Subhash Ghai (@ SubhashGhai1) December 23, 2020
The Indian Film Federation, an organization made up of producers, distributors, exhibitors and studio owners, which selects India’s entry for the Oscars, remains a separate autonomous body.