J&K, Ladakh will be shortly on Intl film platforms: Anurag

Union Minister Anurag Thakur and LG Ladakh R K Mathur at the launch of 1st Himalayan film festival in Leh on Friday. -Excelsior/Morup Stanzin
Union Minister Anurag Thakur and LG Ladakh R K Mathur at the launch of 1st Himalayan film festival in Leh on Friday. -Excelsior/Morup Stanzin

Time for Ladakhi Progs on DD Kashir to be doubled

Excelsior Correspondent
LEH, Sept 24: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur today inaugurated the star studded five-day ‘First Himalayan Film Festival’at Sindhu Sanskriti Kendra here.
The five-day film festival is a part of the celebrations of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ commemorating 75 years of India’s Independence. The film festival is expected to have an active participation from the local filmmakers and will showcase talent and skills across12 Himalayan States and UTs.
In his address, Thakur congratulated the entire team for making this dream film festival a success in this Himalayan Region which will open new opportunities for the youth of Ladakh. He said that the mountains of India will be given a new identity under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this will be done using the Indian Film Industry.
Thakur said that the Himalayan region is known for its great diversity and talent that now needs to be showcased to India and the world. He added that under the leadership of Modi, the greater number of opportunities will be created for the people of the Himalayan Region in various sectors especially the film industry. He further said that cinema provides a platform to bring all the cultural diversities together and the Himalayan Film Festival is a step in this direction to provide multiple platforms to budding talent in the region. He added that the film festival would also be helpful in imparting skills for which diverse set of workshops are being held as a part of the festival.
Speaking on the rate of progress of OTT platforms, the Minister said that since there is tremendous traffic on OTT platforms, a good number of opportunities will be created for the whole of India be that the smaller north eastern states or UTs of Ladakh or J&K which will be seen very shortly on the international Film Platforms.
The Minister emphasized on the creation of good content on the OTT platforms and said that only those which have a great content creation will attract a good traffic like the famousweb series and hence greater opportunities. While emphasising on the need for good content creation on the OTT platforms, the Minister said that India can become the sub-continent of content creation for the rest of the world.
Talking about the streaming market of the OTT platforms, the Minister said that India is going to become the 6th larger OTT market in the world up to 2024 for which the expected compound annual growth rate will be 28.6 percent in the next four years.
Thakur said that the expected compound annual growth of Media-entertainment sector is 30 billion dollars up to 2023 which is an indication that a lot of employment will be generated by the Media-Entertainment sector in the country including Ladakh and other Himalayan States. He further said that the India is the second largest pay TV market in the world after China having 19 crore 70 lakh pay TV viewers. He added that around 30000 free dish TV sets have been provided to the households of Himalayan Region so far and rest will be given within a year.
Praising the people of Ladakh for their valour, Thakur said that the people of the Himalayan region have made a lot of sacrifices for motherland and many ParamVir Chakra winners have been from the Himalayan Region.
As a tribute to the sacrifices made by the war heroes, the opening of a film at the Film Festival was “Shershaah”which depicts the life of a soldier, his valour and love for his motherland. The Minister praised actor Siddharth Malhotra for his role in ‘Shershaah’ and said that his role in the movie will be an inspiration for the upcoming generations.
Thakur said that with a view tocreate more opportunities for people of the region, Ladakh would be joined with the FTII so that the opportunities will come at the door steps of the people of J&K and Ladakh. The Minister also said that the day is not far when the film makers from Ladakh will showcase their talent at the Goa international film festival. He assured that the sports infrastructure including those for ice hockey ring will be developed on modern lines in Leh. He further said that the time of Ladakhi programs on DD Kashir would be doubled.
Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Member of Parliament from Leh in his address, praised the efforts of Ministry of I&B and the administration of the UT of Ladakh for organizing this first ‘Himalayan Film Festival’ in Ladakh. He further said that the organisation of this festival will create new vistas for the talented youth of Ladakh at the national and international platforms.
Praising the efforts of Modi for creating a new dawn of development for the UT of Ladakh after becoming UT, Namgyal said that Ladakh is making great strides in education, economy, health, infrastructure etc. now and the day is not far when Ladakh will be among the top most UTs in terms of development index in the country.
Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, R K Mathur while delivering his address said that movies are things of interconnectedness and the genesis of organising this film festival was to enthuse the best of talent from Ladakh for the national and international platformsand for garnering of the skills of youth of Ladakh in photography, film, heritage and culture.
‘Shershaah’, the biographical war movie based on ‘Param Vir Chakra’ awardee Captain Vikram Batra was also screened during the opening ceremony in presence of its Director, Vishnuvardhan and the lead actor Sidharth Malhotra.
Besides other dignitaries, the inaugural event was attended by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, producer and director, Anupama Chopra, CEC LAHDC Ladakh, Tashi Gyalson, jury members of the festival Manju Bora, Raja Shabir Khan and G P Vijay Kumar.
Besides screening of popular award winning filmsat the Sindhu Sanskriti Auditorium, Leh to enthral the audience and film buffs, the film festival will be organizing a diverse set of workshops and masterclasseswherein filmmakers, critics, technicians from the Himalayan Region have been invited to impart knowledge and skill to the local film enthusiasts. This will serve as a necessary stimulus to ignite a creative leaning towards filmmaking. In the ongoing film festival, Short Films and Short Documentaries have also been invited in the ‘Competition Section’. A food festival showcasing the unique cuisines of Ladakh region, a cultural show showcasing the rich cultural varsity of Ladakh and a music fest will be also be held during the ongoing film festival.
The five days film festival kick-started today will last up to 28th September and is organised by the Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh in collaboration with the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.
Prior to mention, the Himalayan Region of India attracts filmmakers from all around the globe due to its unique scenic endowment. The unique geography of the region is widely documented along with its indigenous people, traditional skills, and occupations. Film festival in this context presents an opportunity for the local filmmakers to narrate their stories to a wider audience.
In the last two decades, the Independent film industry in the region has taken shape with filmmakers producing local-language films. The same period has also seen rapid electrification in the region which is the prerequisite for the development of the audio-visual sector.
The ‘Himalayan Film Festival’ also envisions institutionalizing a Himalayan Film Fraternity which will have productive repercussions for filmmaking in the Himalayan parts of India.