Mumbai: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai today. The Prime Minister took a tour of the Museum, after which he addressed a gathering of the film fraternity. Speaking on the occasion, he congratulated everyone for the inauguration of NMIC, which he said showcases the entire history of Indian cinema in one place. He also congratulated the film fraternity, under whose guidance Indian cinema has been continuously making new strides.
The Prime Minister asked young and old present alike – “How’s the josh” – and said that their zeal is extremely important for building a New India.
Talking about NMIC, he said that it showcases the multi-faceted aspects of the film industry, its rich tradition and the struggles the people have undergone in making movies. It will serve as an opportunity for the younger generation to understand several aspects of films and film-making.
Speaking about the two buildings in which the museum is housed, the PM said that while Gulshan Mahal speaks about our history, the ultra-modern New Museum Building is a testament to our vision for the future.
He spoke about the almost 30-hour footage available in Gulshan Mahal about the bravery and sacrifice of lakhs of Indian soldiers martyred in World War II. Congratulating Films Division for digitizing this footage, the PM said that this will serve as an inspiration for the younger generations.
Talking about films and society being reflections of each other, the Prime Minister talked about some aspects of evolution in films. He cited examples of the patriotic movies starring Manoj Kumar, the angry young man portrayal on the silver screen, the hopes and aspirations of society being projected and the recent coming up of ‘heroes’ from not just metropolitan cities but also from Tier-2 and Tier 3 cities and rural areas.
He appreciated that the movies of the day present the optimism of New India which has a billion solutions to a million problems and challenges. Citing an analogy about the reduction in time taken for film-making, he said that the schemes and programmes of the Government are being executed in a time-bound manner, meeting the aspirations of Young India.
The Prime Minister said that the Indian Entertainment Industry presents all facets of human emotions which find resonance all across the world. He cited the example of Raj Kapoor, whose movies are loved the world over. He highlighted the role of films in projecting India’s soft power which strengthens Brand India.
Elucidating the impact of Indian Cinema, the PM shared his experiences of interaction with world leaders. He talked about the Prime Minister of Israel knowing the song Ichak Dana by-heart without knowing the language and about school kids performing in South Korea on the song Haathi Mere Saathi. He spoke about the niche being carved by Indian TV serials, stating that there would hardly be any family in Afghanistan who would not have heard about Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi and also mentioned about the love that Vietnamese PM’s wife has for the TV serial Ramayan. All these facets have played an important role in projection of India’s soft power across the globe.
Applauding the silent power of cinema in acting as a catalyst for bringing forth new thoughts and ideas in the minds of people, he spoke about recent films on a variety of social subjects like toilets, women empowerment, sports, disease awareness etc. which were also commercially successful. He added that films made on social subjects take such issues to the masses in a subtle manner and contribute to nation building. Underlining the diversity of films, he said that Indian Cinema is a true reflection of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
PM said that film industry has an enormous role in promoting tourism, which has the added benefit of employment generation.
He said that the Government is working on a single window clearance system for grant of film shooting permissions from multiple authorities to ensure Ease of Filming. A web portal is being created to facilitate such permissions for film completion in a time bound manner.
Acknowledging the issue of film piracy, he informed that Government is in the process of coming up with an amendment in the Cinematograph Act 1952 to ensure severe punishment for camcording.
Talking about more than 1,400 irrelevant laws scrapped by the Government, he called upon the film fraternity to come up with suggestions to do away with similar archaic laws affecting them which need to be scrapped to streamline procedures.
Mentioning that Design in India is as important as Make in India, he talked about the setting up of National Centre for Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics. He also discussed the need of setting up a separate University for Communication and Entertainment which focuses on technology and finance while giving scope for creativity. He also explored the idea of organizing a Global Film Summit on the lines of Davos Summit which would focus on the business and exploration of expansion of market for Indian Cinema.
Prime Minister invigorated the film fraternity to talk about the struggles and hard work behind film making, which makes the youngsters look beyond the glamour quotient of the industry and derive crucial life lessons for life and character building. He called upon the gathering to make such films which will develop scientific temper and spirit of innovation. He also asked filmmakers to make movies on unsung real life heroes like Dashrath Manjhi, or the forgotten stories of tribal valour in the First War of Independence in 1857.
Stating that theatre and cinema are connected to each other, he talked about India’s rich theatrical heritage and focussed on the need of preserving and highlighting it to encourage, attract and inspire new talent.
Highlighting that the government needs sabka saath in order to ensure sabka vikas, the Prime Minister called upon the film fraternity to contribute to nation building and to take the extraordinary heritage of Indian Cinema to the world.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd.) highlighted the steps taken by the Government to promote Indian Cinema. He mentioned steps like financial assistance for Indian films nominated for Oscars, Film Facilitation Office which provides single window clearance for film related permissions and reduction in GST rates for movie tickets. The Minister announced that work is in progress to set up National Centre for Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics.
In his welcome address, Shri Shyam Benegal, Head of Museum Advisory Committee, NMIC, said that Indian cinema is as old as cinema itself – the very first Indian film was made only three years after the invention of cinema. Indian cinema is the only cinema which has its own specific form, which is different from cinema in other parts of the world, a form which suits us perfectly – it has tragedy, comedy, melodrama, dance – in short, everything. Appreciating the NMIC project, he said that it is the first time we have recognized the national asset that Indian cinema is.
The inauguration was also graced by the presence of Governor of Maharashtra Shri C. Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Ramdas Athawale. Among other dignitaries, a galaxy of cinema personalities including Chairman, CBFC Shri Prasoon Joshi; Ms. Asha Bhosle, Shri A.R. Rehman, Ms. Asha Parekh, Shri Randhir Kapoor, Shri Kiran Shantaram, Shri Aamir Khan, Shri Shaji N. Karun, Shri Ramesh Sippy, Shri Karan Johar, Shri Boney Kapoor, Shri Kunal Kohli, Shri R. Madhavan, Ms. Kangana Ranaut and many more, along with Shri Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of I&B, other senior officials of Ministry of I&B and Films Division attended the event.
The Museum is housed in two buildings – the New Museum Building and the 19th century historic palace Gulshan Mahal – in the Films Division campus in Mumbai.
The New Museum Building has four Exhibition Halls which encapsulate:
Gandhi & Cinema: it not only depicts the movies made on the life Mahatma Gandhi but also showcases the deep impact his life had on cinema.
Children’s Film Studio: it gives visitors, particularly children, an opportunity to explore the science, technology and art behind filmmaking. It offers hands on experience on various facets associated with making cinema like camera, light, shooting, experience of acting, etc. – presented in an interactive format. The exhibits displayed include chroma studio, immersive experience zone, stop-motion animation studio, virtual makeover studio, etc.
Technology, creativity & Indian cinema: it showcases the creative use of technology by Indian film makers over the years to produce cinematographic impact on the silver screen.
Cinema across India: it showcases the charismatic kaleidoscopic presence of the vibrant cinematographic culture across India.
Gulshan Mahal is an ASI Grade-II Heritage Structure which has been restored as part of the NMIC project. The displays present here showcase the journey of over a hundred years of Indian cinema. It is divided into 9 sections viz. The Origin of Cinema, Cinema comes to India, Indian Silent Film, Advent of Sound, The Studio Era, The impact of World War II, Creative Resonance, New Wave and Beyond and Regional Cinema.