Cinema soft power of a strong India: Prakash Javadekar

Javadekar singled out best actor winners -- Ayushmann Khurrana and Vicky Kaushal -- for their performances.

Cinema is India's soft power and there is a need to present its potential to the world, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.

The I&B minister, speaking at the National Film Awards ceremony, said the influence of Indian films is visible in other countries.

"I always believe that cinema is a soft power of a strong India. Our theatre and films are our soft power and we must harness this. The influence of this soft power is visible when I go to other countries. Another speciality of cinema today is that you have films being made on diverse subjects in all the languages of the country.

"The culture and art of a country is its power and we need to present this power to the whole world. Everywhere around the world, Indian films are loved by people. I went to Latin America recently and in that region also, there is a huge demand for Indian films," Javadekar said at the function, which was held at Vigyan Bhavan here.

The minister recalled his stint in filmmaking during 1989 to 1995 when he worked on six political satires for his party.

"I got the opportunity to work with some great artistes. So I know about the hard work involved in making a film. I can understand the passion, hard work and genius of all the artistes present here, including the directors, choreographers and others, that has helped them in reaching this stage," he said.

Javadekar singled out best actor winners -- Ayushmann Khurrana and Vicky Kaushal -- for their performances.

He also praised actor Akshay Kumar, who was present at the event to receive the award for "Pad Man", which won award for film on other social issues "Pad Man". Akshay both starred in and co-produced the film.

"From 'Padman' to 'Mission Mangal', everyone has seen these films. He also made 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha'. Who would have thought 'Toilet' could be a love story?

"This is power of art... Akshay has showed us with his last few films that motivational films can be entertaining and yet impactful at the same time," he said.

Javadekar said the I&B ministry has taken a few key decisions to promote film shooting in India.

He reemphasised on the importance of single-window clearance system, adding the country has to project its films properly to the global audiences.

"Now, in Films Division, we have established a real single window so that permissions for all film shoots will be done at one place. If there is a problem, please write to me and I will ensure all faults are removed. We are making this regional as well," he said.

The minister said due to the rise of OTT (Over-The-Top) platforms, there has been an influx of all kinds of web series.

"There are good ones, bad ones and then really bad ones. That is an issue but it makes me happy that film artistes are getting work and opportunities on this platform," he said.

The commerce of Indian films is equally important, Javadekar said.

"... All over the world, we get recognition as well as get foreign exchange through our films. We have to project our films properly to the global audiences," he added.

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