Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, April 26 – “With more options of entertainment available, changing technologies and preferences of the people, the film societies should also change their strategies if they want to continue the movement of making good cinema available to the people.”
Founder general secretary of the Gauhati Cine Club, Apurba Kr Das lighting the ceremonial lamp to mark opening of the year-long golden jubilee celebration of the Cine Club, at the District Library in Guwahati on Sunday. – UB Photos
HN Narahari Rao, renowned film society activist and founder of the Suchitra Film Society Bangalore, who inaugurated the golden jubilee celebrations of the Gauhati Cine Club (GCC) today, encouraged his fellow activists to increase the use of technology to further the cause of the film societies.
An ex-president of the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI), Rao said that having a DVD library of classics from different countries and sub-continents and starting more localised film screening at apartments and localities would attract more audiences towards good films. “With technical advancement, such initiatives could be started very easily,” he said.
The Gauhati Cine Club has chalked out elaborate plans to celebrate its golden jubilee year 2015-2016 in a grand manner. The three-day inaugural programme will also include screening of films from Russia, Bhutan, Brazil and Italy.
Speaking as a special guest, Premendra Mazumdar, general secretary of FFSI stressed the need to expand the movement in college and university campuses. “The UGC has provisions to support such initiatives and GCC has to take a lead in this regard,” he said, lauding the role of the GCC in successfully continuing the movement in this part of the country.
“There are 322 film societies in India. Assam, where this movement started in 1965, has four active film societies,” he said.
He also congratulated GCC general secretary Madhurima Baruah on being selected to the Central Council of FFSI.
Earlier, GCC president AK Absar Hazarika thanked the FFSI for extending its support to the GCC in all its endeavours. “Though in different professions, people are associated with the film society movement out of interest and their zeal for good cinema. Though running a film society for so many years is not an easy task, the GCC has been crossing the hurdles coming its way to make meaningful cinema from across the world available to the cine lovers here,” he said.
Apurba Kumar Das, founder general secretary of the GCC recalled the birth of the cine club, with support from cultural icon Dr Bhupen Hazarika. He also recalled how this nascent initiative gradually converted into a film society movement. “Not all thought it to be a meaningful hobby at that time. However, many conscious citizens including businessmen, doctors, engineers, educationists and litterateurs, who were aware of such kind of a movement in other parts of the world including the neighbouring Kolkata, extended all kinds of support to us. Many cinema halls at that time allowed us to screen films free of cost,” he said.
Participating in a programme, ‘Down memory lane’, the life members and general members of the organisation shared their experiences and association with the GCC. This was followed by screening of a Russian film The Cranes are Flying.