Films preservation must for national cultural heritage.

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Panaji,Nov 29 (UNI) The lack of awareness about preservation of film heritage is due to the mindset that films are not worth it. The issue came up during a debate on 'What ails film preservation' at the Open Forum as part of the ongoing 38th IFFI here today.

Former director of NFAI P K Nair lamented that nobody thought films were part of our national cultural heritage even though times are changing now and a dramatic change is taking place in the mindset of people.

He said films have been part of the every day life of people.

Unless films are preserved, one cannot get into the social history of the time when the film was shot.

Present director of the NFAI Shashidharan felt the need of the hour was to have a legislation which provides for mandatory accquisition of copy of a film's negative by the NFAI. ''Now,there is only voluntary deposit system. There are 17,000 films in the NFAI library which are mostly award winning and Indian Panorama films.

What about other films, don't they deserve to be preserved as part of our cultural heritage,''he asked.

He said that if NFAI is given an autonomous status,there will be better flow of funds as the government budgetary allocation is meager. Noted Marathi filmmaker Jabbar Patel who moderated the session said the NFAI should adopt to the newer technology in film preservation.

Shashidharan said as per the current technology available with NFAI, black and white films survive for more years than the colour prints.

Mr Prasad from Films Division said the organisation is in osession of 8000 titles since the pre-independence days and has begun the process of digitalising the same.

The technology should be such that easy retrieval of information is facilitated.

UNI

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