Union Information & Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated a week-long ‘Independence Day Film Festival’ at Siri Fort auditorium here on Friday.

He urged people to believe in the ‘oneness of the country’ and emphasised that “nothing else should be allowed to cause obstacles in India’s march ahead.”

Naidu asserted the importance of cinema in bringing forth the lives of prominent as well as unsung heroes of the freedom struggle.

He mentioned movies like ‘Sardar’ and a Tamil movie ‘Veerapandiyan Kottabomman’ which depicted the lives of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and an 18th century warrior, Veerapandiyan Kottabomman as capable of inspiring in the people an interest in the history of freedom fighters.

The festival will screen 20 films till August 18, whose primary aim is to inspire a patriotic mood among the public.

Speaking at the event, Naidu said priority will be given to students of government schools to attend the festival.

The festival opened with the screening of the movie ‘Gandhi’ made by British Director Richard Attenborough.