Sonowal inaugurates first Guwahati International Film Festival
The 6-day long film festival featured participation of 32 countries with screening of 78 films of different genres.
Speaking at the star studded inaugural ceremony, Sonowal said that, the first ever Guwahati International Film Festival will be launch pad for Assamese films to conquer the world and the Government will make this film festival an annual event.
Welcoming all the delegates to this beautiful state, Sonowal said that, we feel privileged to extend all our hospitality to the film fraternity all over the world and I request all the personalities coming from different nations to enjoy the splashes of the scenic beauty of Assam.
The Assam CM speaking his government’s commitment to the growth of the film industry in Assam said that the State Government has decided to give a subsidy of Rs 50 lakh for reopening of closed cinema halls and Rs 25 lakh for renovation of the existing or functional cinema halls.
He also informed that in case of establishment of new cinema halls the state government has decided to provide a subsidy of 25 per cent of the capital cost.
Moreover, the state government has also decided to increase the numbers of films to which government provides financial assistance.
Reiterating his government’s emphasis to improve the quality of cinema and culture of the art of acting here in Assam, Sonowal also informed that his government will also establish one State School of Drama for preserving theatrical traditions of the state.
“The government would also preserve Chitraban Film Studio at Bholaguri Tea Estate set up by Rupkonwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwala as a mark of respect to the legendary film maker,” Sonowal said.
Stating that the first ever Guwahati International Film Festival is the latest addition to the State Government’s keen interest in strengthening the film industry, Sonowal urged upon all stake holders to put in their best efforts as ‘Team Assam’ to make the event truly an epoch making and a signature event.
The Assam CM also said that Guwahati International Film Festival which saw the participation of 32 countries in the city will be a catalyst to Act East Policy which envisages to make Guwahati as the gateway to South East Asian nations.
He also hoped that presence of different countries in the film festival would also lead to cultural and business exchanges between Assam and other nations.
Sonowal said that the new Tourism Policy of the State featured many advantages for film makers who come to Assam and shoot their films.
“The film makers who come to Assam and shoot a minimum of 25 per cent of the film in Assam will get a financial grant of up to 25 per cent of the expenditure made in the state,” Sonowal said.
Welcoming the film producers to come to Assam, Sonowal said that if they make their films based on the story line of Assam’s culture, tourism or heritage, the government would provide financial grant to 10 per cent.
Thanking all the delegates for making it to Guwahati International Film Festival, Sonowal said their participation has made the festival great.
Underscoring his government’s initiatives for making communication and connectivity to Guwahati a seamless one, Sonowal said that his government would make Guwahati a model city which would truly become a gateway to ASEAN countries.
“The Guwahati International Film Festival will be a harbinger of a new dawn for Assamese Film industry,” the Assam CM said.
Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran to India Gholamreza Ansari while speaking on the occasion said that films have the abilities to reflect values of a nation and participation of Iran in Guwahati International Film Festival is a testimony that both Assam and Iran share common values of friendship.
He also hoped that the Guwahati International Film Festival would further strengthen the mutual relations between India and Iran.
Ambassador of Czech Republic to India Milan Hovorkov who was also present at the inaugural ceremony said that cinema is the bridge builder and the Guwahati International Film Festival would be a bridge of mutual interests between Assam and Czech Republic.
Minister of State (in charge) for Cultural Affairs Naba Kumar Doley also spoke on the occasion. Veteran film makers Jahnu Barua, Anirban Shyam Sarma, director and cinematographer Shaji Karun a galaxy of film personalities and senior government officers were present on the occasion.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)