Recently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) notified the transfer of the mandate for the production of documentaries and short films, organisation of film festivals, and preservation of films to the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Ltd., a PSU working under the ministry.
The government has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 1,304.52 crore up to 2026 for all these activities under NFDC. The revenues generated by these activities, such as producing documentaries, which was hitherto not for profit, will also accrue to NFDC.
Role of film media bodies –
- FD: The largest moving-image repository and audio-visual record of Indian history was established in 1948 to create public service awareness films, to film the decolonisation and nation-building process, and to produce and distribute newsreels and documentary films. FD employees will now be attached with NFDC’s new Production Vertical, which will retain the Films Division brand name.
- CFSI: Formed in 1955, it was tasked with producing children’s films and value-based entertainment, also for underprivileged children, in small towns and rural areas.
- NFAI: Established in 1964 under renowned curator P K Nair, it was tasked with tracing, acquiring, and preserving the heritage of fiction cinema in India.
- DFF: It was established in 1973, and tasked with cultural exchange, promoting Indian cinema worldwide, organising the National Film Awards and Dadasaheb Phalke Awards, the Mumbai International Film Festival, and the International Film Festival of India in Goa. All of this will now be part of NFDC’s mandate under its Promotion Vertical, with which DFF employees will be attached on a temporary basis.
- NFDC: A PSU established in 1975, its earlier avatar was the Film Finance Corporation. Its job was to finance, produce, and distribute feature films, and to promote filmmakers outside the mainstream. It has made noteworthy contributions to parallel cinema, but has been unable of late to provide exhibition infrastructure to independent filmmakers.
What has been done now?
NFDC, the PSU was declared a loss-making asset by NITI Aayog in 2018, and its closure was proposed in the Parliament. With the other bodies now being merged with NFDC, it is now the “umbrella organisation”.