Anurag Thakur inaugurates Himalayan Film Festival at Leh

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New Delhi: Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday inaugurated the Himalayan Film Festival at Leh in Ladakh, an official statement said.

The five-day film festival is a part of the celebrations of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ commemorating 75 years of India’s independence.

“Keeping in view the PM’s call for ‘Jan Bhagidhari’, the film festival will have active participation from the local filmmakers and will showcase talent across 12 Himalayan states and Union Territories,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in the statement.

Addressing the audience at the inauguration ceremony, Thakur said the Narendra Modi government will give a new identity to the hill states and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will work relentlessly towards that goal.

“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,” he said.

Thakur said India is a country where the popularity of OTT platforms is increasing.

“This presents an opportunity, not just for the big states but even the smaller states of the country, and soon Ladakh is going to find recognition even in international film festivals,” he said.

The minister said India is the fastest growing OTT market and it is the content that is drawing people to these 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,” he said.

The minister also announced that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will be connected with a film training institute soon.

Praising the ministry for organising the film festival, Leh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said this will create new vistas for the talented youth of Ladakh at national and international platforms.

He said, “Ladakh is making great strides in education, economy, health, infrastructure etc now and the day is not far when Ladakh will be among the top most UTs in terms of development index in the country.”

In the ongoing film festival, short films and short documentaries have also been invited in the ‘Competition Section’, the statement said.

A food festival showcasing the unique cuisines of Ladakh region, a cultural show showcasing the rich cultural varsity of Ladakh and a music festival will be also be held during the ongoing film festival.

The ‘Himalayan Film Festival’ also envisions institutionalizing a Himalayan Film Fraternity which will have productive repercussions for filmmaking in the Himalayan parts of India,” the ministry said.

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