ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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CINEMA-Quiet Take-Over of NFDC

Quiet Take-Over of NFDC C S Lakshmi THE setting up of a Film Corporation as an apex body, as a first step towards evolving a comprehensive film policy, was considered by the government when the Estimates Committee submitted its report to the Fifth Lok Sabha and suggested in one para the evolution of a comprehensive film policy. The proposal as it was worked out initially, conceived the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) as a body that would serve the needs of the film industry dealing with the import and export of films, their distribution and exhibition in India and abroad, promotion of quality films, import and allocation of cine film and other film materials and import of accessories and equipment required by the film industry. It was clear at that time that the NFDC, while it would serve the needs of the film industry, will not be "directly concerned with improving the industry". There was no doubt about the fact that the function of promoting quality films was one limited to "cleaning up of films" as far as the NFDC itself was concerned. As the government was not entering the field of production of films, the job of really improving the industry by producing quality films was considered to be the task of the Film Finance Corporation (FFC). The identity of the FFC was to be kept separate as a subsidiary body and not merged with the NFDC, Although the NFDC was formally incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 on May 1, 1975, with one or two additional functions (like construction of a national theatre chain and promotion of research and development in film equipment and raw stock) with a share capital of Rs 3 crores, it was not activised. One of the reasons for this was the vigorous opposition from the trade section of the film industry which comprised established commercial producers, distributors, 'exhibiters, financiers, studio and laboratory owners and exporters. The other reason was that doubts had already crept in about how 'comprehensive' it was going to be. While Indian Motion Picture Export Corporation (IMPEC) was to be merged with it, the role of FFC was still being discussed. At a point it was felt that after the NFDC came into being, the role of FFC would be reviewed in the overall pattern and function of the NFDC and that policy decisions will be taken accordingly. But no final decision was taken regarding the NFDC itself as a body even until the beginning of 1976, mainly because its functions and their impact on the film industry were not yet very clear.

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