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State set to miss film festival

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi, Dec. 24: Odisha is set to miss out on a national film festival as the state government is yet to respond to an offer of the directorate of film festivals in this regard. The directorate will organise various events, including national festivals in state capitals, to mark the centenary year of Indian cinema.

“We had sent letters to some states, including Odisha, in July this year to organise centenary film festivals there. However, we got busy with the festivals in and outside country after that and did not follow it up,” Rajeev Kumar Jain, the head of the directorate of film festivals told The Telegraph.

He added that there had been no response regarding the festival from the Odisha government so far.

“We have not received any communication from the Odisha government. So, we do not know whether they have refused the proposal for the festival or not,” he said, adding that the festival would have been organised jointly by the state government and the directorate. Surprisingly, authorities of different departments concerned with films and festivals in the state have no information about any such proposal.

“We have never received any such proposal from the directorate. We organise the annual awards for Odia films. But otherwise, we are not concerned with films. Yet, since the culture and tourism department organises various festivals, we could have considered the event had it reached us,” said Ashok Tripathy, secretary of state culture and tourism department.

Officials of the state information and public relations department also denied receiving any proposal for the film festival.

“No such proposal has been offered to our department,” said state information and public relations secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena.

The film industry is looked after in the state by the industries department through the Odisha Film Development Corporation. But the commission chairman, Munna Khan, also said he had no knowledge of any film festival offered to be hosted by the state.

However, members of the film fraternity are worried lest the event slips off the hands of the state government. “It is a significant event and will give Odisha its righteous position in the national film scenario if we host the festival.,” said filmmaker and actor Prashant Nanda.