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    Star-studded 1st Himalayan Film Festival begins in Leh Union Minister for I&B, Anurag Thakur inaugurates opening ceremony, Shershaah screened as opening film

    Publish Date: 27 September, 2021
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    Leh, Sept 24: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, today inaugurated the first Himalayan Film Festival at Sindhu Sanskriti Kendra, Leh. The five-day festival is being held from September 24-28 as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
    The film festival showcasing films from 12 Himalayan states and UTs to provide a platform to their filmmakers is being organised by the Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh in collaboration with the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The film festival is being hosted in collaboration with the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh.
    Speaking during the event, Minister I&B Anurag Thakur termed cinema as one of the effective mediums to foster cultural diversity. He announced that the transmission of DD Kendra Leh programme would be extended to one hour from half an hour from October 1, 2021. These steps, he said, would enhance the outreach of AIR and DD in the region and provide platform to young local talents.
    Furthermore, Minister I&B Anurag Thakur spoke on the emergence of OTT as a popular entertainment platform for the people during the Covid-19 pandemic. Quality content will ensure traffic and India has the potential to become the sub-continent of content creation, he added.
    He assured that the demand for collaboration between Ladakh and the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) would be fulfilled at the earliest.
    Welcoming Minister I&B Anurag Thakur to Ladakh and expressing gratitude for accepting the invitation to inaugurate the maiden Himalayan Film Festival, Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur expressed hope that the festival would encourage filmmakers and talented youth from Ladakh to take this field. LG Mathur stated that the administration would make efforts to nurture the talent of the creative youth of Ladakh by imparting professional education and training to them.
    Addressing the gathering, CEC LAHDC Leh Adv Tashi Gyalson termed the film festival as an amazing platform for filmmakers from Ladakh to showcase their creativity. He stressed the need for having a premiere film institute in the region to connect local film enthusiasts with the mainstream film industry. He expressed his gratitude to the LG Ladakh-led UT Administration for organising such festivals. He stated that the Hill Council would continue to play an active role in the future to nurture and encourage people of Ladakh to showcase their talents to the outside world.
    Member Parliament from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, highlighted that a lot of initiatives have been taken in Ladakh by the Centre and LG Ladakh in the last two years. The event, he said, is a significant event to pay tribute to the freedom fighters from the Himalayan region on the occasion of celebration of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav across the country. He appreciated the contribution of lone freedom fighter from Ladakh, Abdul Sattar Lone. He expressed his hope to see THFF opening new opportunities for the filmmakers of Ladakh at the international level.
    Secretary Information Padma Angmo, in her welcome speech, welcomed the guests and expressed her gratitude to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and DFF for providing assistance to UT Administration in organising the event at such a large scale. She added that the film festival is a platform for all the filmmakers to showcase and hone their skills.
    Earlier, Anurag Thakur and LG Mathur launched the official poster of The Himalayan Film Festival. Jury members, including Manju Borah, Raja Shabir Mohammad Khan and GP Vijay Kumar, were felicitated during the event. A short film on late Tashi Rabgias was screened during the event to felicitate the eminent scholar and historian from Ladakh.
    Veteran film personalities from Ladakh, including Late Tashi Rabgais, Ali Mohd, Morup Namgyal, Tsering Stanzin , Mipham Otsal, Phonsok Ladakhi and Haji Mohd Hussain, were felicitated during the inaugural ceremony.
    Shershaah, a film on late Captain Vikram Batra, was screened on the big screen for the first time during the opening session in the presence of actor Sidharth Malhotra and co-actors, director Vishnu Vardhan and film personalities such as Vidhu Vinod Chopra, film critic Anupama Chopra.
    Executive Councillors from Hill Councils Leh and Kargil, Advisor UT Ladakh, guests from different Himalayan states/UTs, concerned officials from various departments, filmmakers from Ladakh and audience were present during the event.