Talks on for a dedicated documentary, short film TV channel: Mike Pandey

Panaji, Nov 29 (Calcutta Tube) A separate television channel to telecast documentary films is one of the moves mooted by the newly-appointed president of the Indian Documentary Producers Association (IDPA) Mike Pandey.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here Monday, Pandey also said that education was a major challenge for the country and documentaries can help in creating awareness.

‘The issue of education for all can be effectively handled by broadcasting good, interesting documentaries on the subject which can grip the attention of the audience. We are meeting with the information and broadcasting ministry officials to dedicate a separate television channel to cater to India’s need for education,’ Pandey said.

He feels television had wider reach than schools and was more effective, if utilised properly.

‘Good information is garbage, if it does not reach people effectively,’ Pandey said, adding that the IDPA, which has more than 1,000 members, would be lobbying with the government and corporate sector for resources.

‘There used to be a half an hour mandatory slot at all cinema halls in India to screen documentaries, but that gradually got phased out,’ Pandey said.

Pandey also said that after a period of time, the quality of documentary films produced in India had slipped over the years. He further said that 13 National Awards (out of 33 awards in the documentary/short film category) could not be given this year as the documentaries/short films were not up to the mark. He asked the documentary film makers to come out with engaging and quality cinema.

The ace documentary filmmaker feels documentaries should move beyond the conventional screening mediums like television and cinema halls and aim for non conventional tools like mobile phones, I Pads to gain popularity and reach.

Ramesh Tekwani, vice president of IDPA, too feels that cell phones, coffee houses and strategically located LCD screens in corporate set ups should be the next frontier for documentary filmmakers.

‘Documentary makers have to engage technology at every level. The mobile is a great platform for screening documentaries. Coffee houses have now become the places where urban youth go to relax, we must learn to tap these avenues,’ he said.

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