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State grant for budding film-makers

Aspiring directors who are labouring away on a shoestring can now watch out for state largesse, with the information and public relations department planning to introduce special awards and scholarships to boost film-making in Jharkhand.

Assistant director of the department Anand told The Telegraph that they had also made provisions in the budget proposal of the upcoming fiscal (2012-13) for the purpose.

“Once approved by the cabinet, a special committee will be formed for sorting out the modalities for instituting the awards and scholarships,” he said, pointing out that Jharkhand had a number of budding documentary film-makers who were unable to showcase their craft due to lack of resources.

“When you do not have money, it becomes very difficult to pursue a passion. So, the department wants to reach out and help film-makers by offering them scholarships and recognition,” Anand said.

The department has invited applications from students belonging to Jharkhand who are enrolled in renowned institutions such as Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, National School of Drama, Film and Television Institute of India and the Anwar Jamal Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre until March 13.

“There are eligibility criteria for students willing to apply for the scholarships and awards. Firstly, they need to be residents of Jharkhand. We will especially encourage those belonging to economically backward and reserved categories, but general students, too, can apply. If one is deserving, he or she will stand a good chance,” Anand said, adding that students whose applications had been rejected earlier, were given another chance.

The scholarships, he said, would cover the tuition fees of the candidates while the state would directly transfer the funds to the bank accounts of the respective institutes.

Last year, the department had introduced fellowships and scholarships for development journalists and students from Jharkhand pursuing mass media courses outside.

Officials at the department are expecting a good response from students this year. “Last year, we had given away scholarships to eight students. Two of them were from the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute in Calcutta while the remaining six were from IIMC,” Anand said.

“We are expecting lot more applications this year, as there has been a jump in the number of queries. Many missed the bus last year due to lack of awareness. But this time, the word has spread,” he added.

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