FD to waive levy on documentaries

In an effort to revive the screening of important social documentaries in theatres and provide an impetus to exhibitors to procure and screen them, Films Division, it is understood, is set to do away with the one per cent levy (rental on weekly collection) being imposed on their supply.

Noting that since the levy stood in the way of screening approved films, which are essentially on important social issues, events for information and education of masses, Films Division, has decided to do away from charging one per cent rental from theatre owners.

The idea behind waiving the levy, it is said, is to serve the large objective of conveying to the public social issues based on documentary films. According to Films Division, while no additional resources would be required, however, it would suffer notional loss of about Rs 4 crore annually following the rental waiver.

Likewise, the Films Division, proposes to associate with Indian Documentary Producers’ Association besides Public Service Broadcast Trust, to produce more documentary films, for which total financial outlay of Rs 35 crore has been proposed during the 12th Five Year Plan. The idea is to provide further impetus to documentary film movement in the country so as to enhance the quality and quantity of documentary films being currently produced.

Further, as part of its plans to host on-line consumer web portal that will be the division’s internet face, it has proposed to engage private agencies for encoding, tagging, archiving content in different file formats and managing them seamlessly through digital asset management platform.
Expression of Interest to webcast 80,000 minutes of documentary films in the first phase has been invited. This would enable Films Division to place films on the internet and screen them online on payment of money.

Meanwhile, to promote production of more films, specially animation films, and good cinema including providing wholesome entertainment to the children, the Childrens Film Society of India (CFSI), proposes to tie-up with animation companies for production and distribution purposes of such films.

To catalyse its intent, CFSI plans to put in place a collective of creative persons who would enter into marketing tie-ups with animation companies. Their remunerations though be linked to percentage of revenues these films earn rather than from the Central plan funds.

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