Om Puri takes charge as film body chief

April 23rd, 2008 - 8:47 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) The beleaguered National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), India’s state-run film financing body, finally has a chairman in celebrated actor Om Puri after industry veteran Manmohan Shetty resigned from the post about a year ago. Puri took over the charge Wednesday morning and vowed to resuscitate the body.

Once renowned for spearheading the New Wave cinema in India, a movement of which Puri himself was a part during his early career, the NFDC has lately degenerated into being an ineffectual body.

In the changing dynamics of the film industry today, some corporate entities have begun to substitute what NFDC had set out to do, leaving this autonomous organization high and dry. The NFDC has not yet clearly defined its objectives in keeping with the changing times.

If the successive chairpersons of the body failed to translate their visions into action, it was partly because of lack of resources and partly due to confusion over the government’s film policy.

Lately, purely due to commercial reasons, the NFDC has sought joint ventures with Bollywood and outside producers. But, as it has no distribution network, many of these movies still remain in the cans.

Addressing the media after taking charge, Puri hoped the movies financed or co-financed by NFDC would have stars to make them saleable in the market.

Puri said if a star accepts one-third of his regular remuneration for an NFDC movie and defers the remaining payment till the movie generates enough money at the box-office, the corporation would be game for such ‘joint ventures’.

But he did not elaborate, saying he would not involve himself in the day-to-day activities of the organization.

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