How to improve the quality of films?

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There is a growing concern about the deteriorating quality of majority of feature films in our country due to the inclusion of the elements like vulgarity, obscenity, violence and other means of cheap entertainment. Least concern is shown by the film makers about the impact these kinds of films can create on the society.

Although the efforts are being made for improving themes, treatments and techniques of Indian feature films, much remains to be done to improve the quality of these films.

Indian films should become more socially purposeful, so that being the most popular and powerful mass medium, they can contribute to the development of the society.

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Government should make policies which encourage production of quality films, facilitate their distribution and exhibition.

The formulation of a film policy is not optional: it is imperative. Technology and commerce have made film available. But film is not just any commercial product or technological gadget.

Film is a cultural commodity. If we fail to articulate our film policy on the development needs of our people, we may still have the means to reach out to all of them, but no clear vision of what might constitute good, healthy, socially useful films.

As pointed out by Kumar, “the high taxation rates and the stringent rules for licensing of cinema houses give the impression that cinema is an undesirable activity which needs to be kept at an adequate distance from the social life of the community” (1997:129).

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However, government has set up National Film Development Corporation to finance production of good films, Directorate of Film festivals, National Film Archives, National Center of Films for Children and Young people and instituted National Film Awards to boost production of good cinema.

International Film Festival of India held in many cities has provided opportunities to the film lovers to be exposed to outstanding films of other countries.

To continue these efforts of promoting film as an art form, the working group has recommended the establishment of the Chalchitra Akadami, Sangeet Natak Academi, and the Lalit Kala Akadami.

It has also recommended the setting up of a film Educational Advisory Service for inculcating a critical attitude towards cinema in schools and colleges as well as a Film Information and Documentation Centre, a National Film Museum, and a children’s Film Centre.

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Media education should become integral part of curriculum and film education, a part of media education. This can help youngsters to fully appreciate the movies they watch so that they can protect themselves against any harmful influences films might have and understand the social role of a film maker.

This type of education through curriculum can go long way in improving the quality of films in future.

At higher level, film production should be offered as a discipline by itself, where not only the training in technical aspects is imparted but the qualitative and affective aspects of films are also taught.

This can produce film makers who are better aware of their responsibilities towards society.

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Research trends in communication reveal that very few studies have been conducted in India on film utilization by the viewers. These types of research studies are necessary as they throw light on the significance of films in the life of the people. Government should encourage such research by funding them.

Censorship should be tightening up to prevent the glorification of crime and violence in feature films. More and more incentives in the form of finances, facilities, tax rebates etc. should be provided to encourage the production of films of high artistic quality.

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