Soni lauds Indian film industry

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New Delhi, Aug 26 (UNI) Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni has said the Indian Film Industry was growing at a fast pace and attracting attention not only from South-East Asia and Asia but also from Europe and the West.

Speaking at the "Today's Traveller Diamond and Platinum Awards" function here last night, she said India had not only emerged as one of the biggest film industry in the world but also had quality films coming from it.

The Minister said when she recently went to China for an Indian festival, a senior citizen asked her if there were any Indian film stars or songs from the Bombay film industry in the festival.

When she said 'no', he remarked that he had grown up listening to the songs of Raj Kapoor's 'Awara'.

Ms Soni said she was very surprised to see the extent of penetration of the Indian film industry.

She said the Union Tourism Ministry has recently chosen film actor and producer Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador for the "Atithi Devo Bhava" campaign to promote Tourism Ministry's efforts both for domestic and foreign tourists and increase social awareness about the needs of the domestic and foreign tourists, especially women tourists.

The Minister gave away the awards on the occasion.

Yash Chopra, noted filmmaker, was given Diamond Award as India's most successful filmmaker.

Ms Soni also released a book "The Bollywood Connection" on the occasion. The book showcases travel and tourism in the country by exploring different spheres of leisure and business.

UNI SH SP HS1744

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