First ‘Himalayan Film Festival’ began at Sindhu Sanskriti Kendra, Leh. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur inaugurated it on Friday.
The film festival will have active participation from the local filmmakers and will showcase talent across12 Himalayan states and UTs.
In the ongoing film festival, Short Films and Short Documentaries have also been invited in the ‘Competition Section’.
Addressing on the occasion, Minister said, ‘The Himalayan States have a diverse culture and have a lot to showcase. The youth of these States need opportunities to display their talent. Cinemas provides a platform to bring all cultural diversities together. The world of cinema provides a prominent platform to the culture of the country’.
Speaking about the valour of the people of Ladakh, the Minister said the people of the region stand shoulder to shoulder with our brave soldiers in protection of our borders. Movies like Shershaah remind many generations of the valour of our soldiers who fought bravely in the wars. Such movies are a great contribution that will inspire generations to come.
Highlight the popularity of good content on OTT platforms, the Minister said that India is the fastest growing OTT market and it is the content that is drawing people to the OTT platforms. Power lies in content and India can become the subcontinent of content creation of the world. But we need to groom our people to produce that quality content. Post-production work for many international blockbusters was done in India and the sector along with gaming and visual graphics sector provide an immense space for growth.
Thakur said that there has been a persistent demand that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh be connected with a film training institute. He subsequently announced that this idea will be implemented soon.
The Minister said that the expected compound annual growth of Media-entertainment sector is 30 billion dollars up to 2023 which is an indication that a lot of employment will be generated by the Media-Entertainment sector in the country including Ladakh and other Himalayan states. He further said that the India is the second largest pay TV market in the world after China having 19 crore 70 lakh pay TV viewers. He added that around 30000 free dish TV sets have been provided to the households of Himalayan Region so far and rest will be given within a year.
He also inaugurated exhibition on Freedom Fighters of Himalayan States as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav and best of Indian Cinema with a focus on Himalayan region orgainsed by Regional Outreach Bureau, J&K, Ladakh region.
‘Shershaah’, the biographical war movie based on ‘Param Vir Chakra’ awardee Captain Vikram Batra was also screened during the opening ceremony in presence of its Director, Shri Vishnuvardhan and the lead actor Shri Sidharth Malhotra.
JamyangTseringNamgyal, Member of Parliament from Leh in his address praised the efforts of Ministry of I&B and the administration of the UT of Ladakh for organizing this first ‘Himalayan Film Festival’ in Ladakh.
LG, Ladakh, Shri R K Mathur while delivering his address said that movies are things of interconnectedness& the genesis of organising this film festival was to enthuse the best of talent from Ladakh for the national and international platforms and for garnering of the skills of youth of Ladakhin photography, film, heritage and culture.
A food festival showcasing the unique cuisines of Ladakh region, a cultural show showcasing the rich cultural varsity of Ladakh and a music fest will be also be held during the ongoing film festival.