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Northeast needs to be provided special funds for filmmaking: Manipuri director

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New Delhi: Manipuri movie maestro Aribam Syam Sharma, for whom a special retrospective will be held at the 46th IFFI, is glad that films from northeast India are finding increased presence at film galas in the country. He however says filmmakers from the region need financial support from the government to make more movies.

Sharma hopes the government will do more than just getting films from the eight states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim — screened at fests.

“We need financial help. The National Film Development Corporation of India (the central agency established to encourage the good cinema movement in India) should have special funds for production of northeast films. We don’t just want our films to be screened. To make good films, we must have money too,” he told IANS on phone from Imphal.

This, he stressed, will especially encourage talented people from the region.

“There are eight states, but we don’t have a market as such. If I can make internationally recognised films, it means that we have the potential. We just need funds,” said Sharma, whose film “Imagi Ningthem” received the Grand Prix at Festival des Trios Continents, Nantes, France, in 1982.

At the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which begins in Goa from November 20, 14 of Sharma’s films like “Imagi Ningthem” and “Matamgi Manipur” will be screened.

He believes that if more northeast films can be aired on national broadcaster Doordarshan, the producers will be able to at least recover their money.

“Doordarshan pays well and also telecasts films. If a film is shown on the channel, the producers get around Rs.20 lakh. This way they can recover money,” he said.

Sharma also hopes that the government revives the commissioned programmes that were once done for the northeast.

“There used to be commissioned programmes by Doordarshan for northeast. But now it has been cut off. It used to be helpful. If that is revived, youngsters can also get money and shoot films. It’s been about two to three years since they discontinued,” he said.

“In other places, people get money through advertisements by companies. In northeast, there are hardly any big companies to advertise,” added the filmmaker, who welcomes the idea of setting up film institutes in all eight states.

Despite all the obstacles, he is geared to shoot another film.

“I won’t reveal much, but it will be a good story…it will have a realistic style, something that I am best at,” said Sharma, who chaired the 13-member Feature jury for selection of films to be screened at the Indian Panorama section in the forthcoming IFFI.

Talking about the films that made it to the list, he said: “The films were not selected on the basis of language or region. We chose the best films that can represent India on an international level.”

Films as different as Bollywood’s blockbuster “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” and Marathi film “Court”, which is India’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the upcoming 88th Academy Awards, as well as Bengali films like “Sohra Bridge”, “Cinemawala” and “Kadambari” will be screened at the 11-day gala.

(Natalia Ningthoujam, IANS)

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LinkedIn ‘Open For Business’ Feature In India

LinkedIn introduces its 'Open For Business' feature in India

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LinkedIn
LinkedIn introduces a feature that supports small and medium businesses (SMBs) and freelancers across the world. Pixabay

Microsoft-owned professional networking platform LinkedIn on Monday launched “Open for Business” in India — a feature that allows freelancers and small business owners to add their services to their LinkedIn profiles.

Initially rolled out in the US in July, the feature is now live in India and rest of the world and is a way for freelancers and small businesses to indicate they are “open for business”.

Acording to the company, this feature underlines its commitment to supporting small and medium businesses (SMBs) and freelancers across the world.

“With 660 million members and 30 million companies on the platform across the world, LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to help freelancers and small businesses be more productive and successful, whether they are based in Dubai or Dundee (Scotland),” Allen Blue, Co-founder and VP of Product Management, LinkedIn, said in a statement.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to help freelancers and small businesses be more productive and successful. Pixabay

Based on the company’s research, small businesses are found to rely heavily on word of mouth, in order to bring in new customers.

“Open for Business” aims to digitise this word of mouth concept by making it easy for members to find, message, and provide references to each other.

With over 60 million users, India is LinkedIn’s fastest-growing and largest market outside the US.

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The company last month rolled out a ‘Made in India’ feature called ‘Events’ that allows members to create and attend events directly on both the app as well the web globally.

The USP of the product is the ability to enable safe online conversations and offline events. (IANS)