Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Saturday the government will establish one drama school for preserving the state’s theatrical traditions even as he said there are plans to make the ongoing international film festival an annual event.
The Chief Minister was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the first Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) at Srimanta Sankardev International Auditorium at Sankardev Kalakshetra in the city.
“The first ever Guwahati International Film Festival will be launch pad for Assamese films to conquer the world and the government will make this film festival an annual event,” Sonowal said.
He added that the Guwahati International Film Festival is the latest addition to the State government’s keen interest in strengthening the film industry.
The GIFF, which will see the participation of 78 films from 32 countries, is also expected to be a catalyst to the Act East Policy which envisages making Guwahati the gateway to Southeast Asian nations.
The Chief Minister also pointed out his government’s commitment to the growth of the film industry in Assam said that the State Government has decided to give a subsidy of Rs 50 lakh for reopening of closed cinema halls and Rs 25 lakh for renovation of the existing or functional cinema halls.
“In case of establishment of new cinema halls the state government has decided to provide a subsidy of 25 per cent of the capital cost. Moreover, the state government has also decided to increase the numbers of films to which government provides financial assistance,” he said.
“The presence of different countries in the film festival would also lead to cultural and business exchanges between Assam and other nations,” he added.
Sonowal said that the new Tourism Policy of the State featured “many advantages for film makers who come to Assam and shoot their films”.
He said that filmmakers, who come to Assam and shoot a minimum of 25 per cent of the film in Assam will get a financial grant of up to 25 per cent of the expenditure made in the state.
Welcoming the film producers to come to Assam, Sonowal said that if they make their films based on the story line of Assam’s culture, tourism or heritage, the government would provide financial grant to 10 per cent.