New Delhi: The government on Wednesday announced the merger of four film media units - Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF), National Film Archive of India (NFAI), and Children's Film Society of India (CFSI) - with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC).
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting transferred the mandate of production of documentaries and short films, organising film festivals and preservation of films to the NFDC, a PSU working under it with an aim to reduce the overlap of various activities and ensure better utilisation of public resources, a government order said.
The government has also made a budgetary allocation of Rs 1304.52 crore up to 2026 for all these activities, which will be implemented through NFDC, the ministry said.
"In order to further strengthen the NFDC, it has been decided that the revenues generated by these activities will also accrue to NFDC. The merger of film media units under the Corporation will ensure a balanced and synergized development of the Indian cinema in all its genres - feature films, documentaries, children's content, animation and short films and will lead to better and efficient utilization of existing infrastructure and manpower," the ministry said.
In December, 2020, the Union Cabinet had decided to merge these four film media units with the NFDC by expanding the Memorandum of Articles of Association of NFDC, which will then carry out all the activities hitherto performed by them with the objective of ensuring synergy, convergence of activities and better utilization of resources.
The ministry had shared these major policy decisions in its interaction with the film industry held in Chennai and Mumbai earlier this month.
"The mandate of production of feature films is already being carried out by NFDC. It will give a strong impetus to the production of films of all genres including feature films, documentaries, children films and animation films; promotion of films through participation in different international festivals and organizing various domestic festivals; preservation of filmic content, digitization and restoration of films; and distribution and outreach activities.
"The ownership of the assets available with these units will, however, remain with the government of India," the ministry said on Wednesday.
In an official order, the government said that the employees of the Films Division involved in the activities related to production of filmic content will be attached under production vertical of NFDC as a temporary arrangement till further orders.
However, the arrangement shall have no bearing on any of the service conditions of the employees, it said, adding that they shall continue to draw their salaries, allowances etc. through Films Division.
According to the order, the mandate of production of documentaries that was earlier done by Films Division has been completely transferred to NFDC. The legacy and brand name of the Films Division will be taken further and the production vertical for production of documentaries in the NFDC will be named as "Films division".
Similarly, organising film festivals that was the mandate of Directorate of Films Festivals has been transferred to NFDC.
"This will bring the organization of different national and international film festivals under one roof, thereby bringing in more synergy and a focused international outreach. Some of the major upcoming Film Festivals to be organized by NFDC are the Mumbai International Film Festival, International Film Festival of India at Goa, and Children's Film Festival," the ministry said.
The film preservation related activities that are carried out by National Film Archives of India have also been transferred to NFDC. The National Film Heritage Mission aiming at digitization and restoration of films and documentaries will now be implemented by NFDC.
"Audio visual service is one of the 12 champion service sectors identified by the Department of Commerce, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is the nodal ministry for this sector.
"Financial incentives for audio-visual co-productions with foreign countries and for promotion of shooting of foreign films in India have also been approved by the government to further stimulate the audio-visual service sector of the economy and promote creative and technical services. This will also be spearheaded by the NFDC through its film facilitation office," the ministry said.