4th National Film Festival on Rural Development held at NIRDPR

Hyderabad: National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) at Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, hosted the 4th National Film Festival on Rural Development today, 20th November 2019. As a part of NIRDPR 61st Foundation Day, the event was organised as a platform to inspire young filmmakers to showcase their talent and promote films based on rural issues and document films on rural development.

In her opening remarks, Smt. Radhika Rastogi, IAS, Deputy Director General, NIRDPR said, that movies have a strong impact on the viewers and can impart the knowledge among the people.

“Films as a medium have massive outreach across the country. In India, movies are made in large numbers and even the Hollywood movies like Avatar and Matrix draw their ideas from Indian philosophy. From the days of Dadasaheb Phalke’s Raja Harishchandra to the Bahubali era, the Indian movies have a universal appeal. They strike an emotional note with audiences across the globe,” she observed.

Recalling the instance of a lady sarpanch who had carried out mosquito eradication in her village and challenged to pay Rs.1000 to anyone who could find a mosquito in the village, Smt. Radhika Rastogi said movies should be made based on such interesting happenings.

Joining the meeting via videoconferencing, Dr. W.R. Reddy, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR said, that despite sarpanches in India doing phenomenal work, seldom the stories of such works reach media and others across the country.

“Such practices should be chosen to make movies, because films act as right medium to motivate the audience and they can inculcate positive attributes to the youths. For instance, Ralegan- Sidhi is a drought-prone area in Maharashtra and two people took up an initiative to ensure water harvesting is done. Now, there is enough water in the region; there are many such initiatives which should be showcased by the filmmakers,” he said.

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“While going to field for research, resource persons take many pictures and videos but do not publish them anywhere else. If they were to knit them together and make a story out of it, it would be really beneficial to all,” Dr. W.R. Reddy added.

The chief guest of the event Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay, ITS, Additional Director General, Doordarshan & All India Radio, South Zone noted that films have lasting imprints on the minds of the viewers.

“With the data revolution in the country, the internet has become available to nook and corners.  More movies should be made on the best practices by government so that the majority of the population gets to know about them. Majority of India resides in the villages and if the villages are developed, then the country will progress inclusively,” he said.

Touching upon several topics regarding the rural development, he also gave an overview on the current conditions in the rural agricultural sector.

Further, Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay announced that Doordarshan will air all the award-winning movies and the entries which were received for the 4th National Film Festival held at National Institute of National Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, if the producers provide their consent.

Further, the dignitaries released the CD with award-winning movies. This was followed by panel discussions involving eminent personalities from media and academic sectors were also conducted. Along with Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay, Prof. Rekha Pande, University of Hyderabad, Ms. Seema Muralidhara, Director-Producer, Beacon TV, Mumbai and Ms. Jyoti Kapur Das, independent writer-director, Mumbai, took part in deliberations.

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Dr. Akanksha Shukla, Head, Centre for Development Documentation and Communication and also the Coordinator of the Film Festival presented the concept note. She said, “the categories under documentary and fiction have been frozen and each year the festival will attract film makers to this event.”

For the fourth edition of the festival, entries were invited in two categories – (i) Government Schemes on Rural Development (documentary) and (ii) Films under different genres related to Rural Development (fiction). The first, second and third prize winners in each category were awarded prize money of Rs.50,000, Rs.25,000 and Rs.15,000, respectively, along with citation and certificate. A mobile filmmaking contest was also organised on the themes – Cultural continuity – Rural to Urban/Diminishing divide – Rural to Urban. In total, 55 entries were received from 18 States across the country.

The entries were evaluated by a jury consisting of Shri C G Sriguha, Film Editor from Hyderabad, Dr. P. Kennedy, Associate Professor, University of Hyderabad, and Shri Rizwan Ahmad, Director, Instructional Media Center, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad. The jury unanimously opined that the majority of the submissions were of fine quality with respect to craft, screenplay and presentation. The entries received in the fiction category stood a tad superior to the documentary, they added.

Being the apex organisation in the country in imparting training to rural development functionaries, NIRDPR is bound to document the rural masses and encourage initiatives undertaken by filmmakers, documentarians and students. In this regard, the Centre for Development Documentation and Communication (CDC), NIRDPR, has been organising the National Film Festival on Rural Development since 2016.

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