NFAI failed to preserve silent era films: parliamentary panel
With less than 20 films out of 1000 produced in the silent era now available, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) which was set up to preserve the country’s cinematic heritage has “miserably failed” to meet this key objective
New Delhi: With less than 20 films out of 1000 produced in the silent era now available, the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) which was set up to preserve the country’s cinematic heritage has “miserably failed” to meet this key objective, a Parliamentary panel has said.
The panel said films like ‘Alam Ara’, which was the first talkie made in the country, are also reportedly lost and the government should institute a comprehensive review of NFAI with a view to revamping the organization.
The panel also suggested classics of regional cinema should be uploaded on the social media to ensure wider reach and generating more revenue.
In its 30th report, the Committee of Estimates of the Lok Sabha chaired by Francisco Sardinha said though there is film acquisition policy of NFAI, there is no such policy for preservation and restoration of films.
It called for a comprehensive policy and said an appropriate legislative provision should be incorporated to ensure that film-makers and private collectors part with a copy of their films to NFAI for preservation.
The Committee expressed disappointment that while the government had envisioned a National Film Heritage Mission (NFHM), digitization and restoration work at NFAI had come to a standstill during the last two years pending implementation of the mission.
The panel noted that NFAI faced infrastructural and manpower constraints and sought action to remove them. It noted that the posts of Director and Deputy Director-cum- curator of NFAI had been vacant since 2008 and said important positions should be filled up.
The panel also said promotion of film studies was a neglected area for NFAI.