indian cinema heritage foundation

Freedom In Films

30 Oct, 2020 | Archival Reproductions by Cinemaazi
V Shantaram's Udaykal (Thunder of The Hills) was originally named as Swarajyacha Toran (The Flags of Freedom) which was changed as the use of the word "Freedom" was deemed seditious at the time. Image Credit: Wikipedia

The Film Industry today needs to be revolutionized. General progress is asleep. The period of hybernation is being lengthened not voluntarily but compulsorily. Who is responsible for this state of affairs? Definitely- the State Policies. Why not more encouragement and impetus given to the Film Industry? Why this step-motherly treatment to this great medium of Audio Visual entertainment and enlightenment?

We were the second largest film producers in the World. Japan has taken over and now we are in the third place. If the Government and the people do not take heed- Italy shall take over and we shall be put in the fourth category. This is a downward grade tendency in the Chart of Progress.

What is the rate of mortality among the film producers? Has the department of economics ever bothered to enquire into the sad state of affair? Can that be counted as sound business? Why should not the causes of stagnancy be removed? We need a more rational and practical approach in solving the problems confronting the development of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In order to cope up with the latest technical advancements of the West in the field of film making- the solution lies in either producing- manufacturing our own goods-or else to import the latest devices. Controls-restrictions-permits and licenses never give sufficient filip to the freedom of the Arts and its natural growth. We were in Japan in 1952. The studios looked like stables then. Now when we were there last month, the whole picture has changed into tremendous prosperity economically-scientifically-technically and artistically. What was the Secret? "Freedom" in one word. There are no restrictions- no barriers in the free growth of this commercial art of movie making. There is no censorship of any kind. You can make social, political-religious or any kind of movie you like. Taxation is normal-giving scope for accumulation and further investment. The incentive in the producer is not taken away like it has unfortunately been cruelly done, in India.

There is unity among the producers and they work on sound economic principles. Artistes work systematically in one movie at a time while the movie gets completed in 6 to 8 weeks like it is done in Hollywood-with the exception of some very big-budget films.

The State should help our industry to stand on a solid footing. It needs a tremendous amount of incentives-so that it may give happiness to humanity in turn.

Men must be free-at least-in the countries that have attained freedom. Without freedom, art gets suffocated for it thrives not in chains but in heaven soaring to great heights.

This article was written by Prem Nath and published in Film Industry Of India, compiled by B K Adarsh in 1963. 

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