Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao on Saturday called for setting up a full-fledged university dedicated to film-making and dedicated channels to air the vast treasure of documentaries, shorts and animated films.
Mumbai is not just the commercial capital of India but also the film capital, therefore, the city should have a full-fledged university dedicated to various aspects of film-making.
He also urged the Films Division to work closely with the Mass Communications Departments of all the 20 universities in the state and the need for a dedicated television channel to screen documentary, short and animated films, on the lines of niches channels devoted to various topics.
He said the first documentary in India - "The Wrestlers" - was made by Mumbaikar H.S. Bhatavdekar in 1899, 15 years before the legendary Dhundiraj Govind 'Dadasaheb' Phalke created history with the first feature film "Raja Harishchandra" in 1913.
Since the past over 100 years, the Indian feature film industry has scripted a dream run with an average of 1,600 full-length films produced annually in different languages, which are watched by audiences globally.
"Documentary films hold a mirror to society. They reflect the reality of life, the joys, happiness and sorrows. They have played a significant role in changing perception of India in the eyes of the world," Rao said at the valedictory function of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF-2018).
He conferred the prestigious 'V. Shantaram Award for Lifetime Achievement', instituted by MIFF, on renowned film-maker Shyam Benegal and paid rich tributes to his contributions to the Indian film industry.
Lauding MIFF for giving a fresh impetus to the documentary film movement in India, he said documentaries serve as "an index of the liberty, freedom of expression and democracy", and hence we must protect and preserve this (movement) at all costs.
He described MIFF as "a democratic, secular and independent platform that offers liberty and freedom to filmmakers to explore, experiment and share their ideas with the audiences" since the past 28 years.
In the current era of digital and social media, documentary making techniques have been revolutionized, the common man has been empowered with technology to make and circulate a film, which can be made on a very small budget, though good story-telling still remains at the core of documentary films, he pointed out.
As the youngest nation in the world, with the average age of an Indian at 29 years, the country needs a young generation of filmmakers, gifted with the spirit of adventure and the art of story-telling, and more women who can represent, discuss and highlight issues of the Indian women in a proper perspective.
"Though India is rapidly urbanising, more than half the population still lives in villages... We want filmmakers coming from rural areas, towns and villages from various socio-economic strata to make films, in every language or dialect, to bring out the real India, its beauty, diversity, paradoxes, peculiarities and daily struggle for existence," Rao said.
Present on the occasion were Culture Minister Vinod Tawde, Director of Films Division Manish Desai, former sheriff of Mumbai Kiran Shantaram, members of the diplomatic corps stationed in Mumbai, filmmakers from around the world and other invitees.