I&B Ministry yet to respond on CFSI resignation: Mukesh Khanna

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Mumbai, Feb 7 (IANS) Veteran actor Mukesh Khanna, who has submitted his resignation as Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) just months short of the end of his three-year term, says he is yet to receive a response from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Mukesh, known for his performance in shows like “Shaktimaan” and “Mahabharat”, resigned citing issues in the working process at CFSI, a nodal government organisation that produces children’s films and television shows in various languages.

Khanna told IANS: “So far, I have not received any response from their end. The authority has maintained a silence. I am waiting for their decision. However, I want that before I leave, at least people should know what is the problem that CSFI is going through, so that in the near future, it could get resolved.”

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The actor’s tenure as CFSI chief is to end in April 2018.

About the issues he faced, Khanna said: “A our film ‘Tennis Buddies’ was ready to release and some distributors (were willing to) invest money for a theatrical release, I came across these problems. They advised me to make the film popular by showing it on Doordarshan.

“I questioned, ‘Who will go to the theatre to watch the film later after watching it on TV? I got no answer to this.

“Though there are distributors who are ready to invest in children’s films, the process of getting approval from the Information and Broadcasting Minister is too long and time-consuming. It takes months. Not only that, there is a tender system which is also creating a problem about bringing investors.”

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He said it is tough to convince investors for the theatrical release of children’s films.

“Due to the tender process, distributors take a step back. When I appealed to have some joint venture where CSFI and other companies can join hands for a film’s release, I was told such concepts work in National Film Development Corporation and not here (at CFSI).

“It took three consecutive meetings for me to establish the fact that CSFI has a clause for joint ventures. But by the time they agreed, the funds got exhausted. So I had to inform the distributors to hold the thought. Who works like this? This is unfair to children’s films and their entertainment,” Khanna said.

He hopes the future is bright for movie content for the younger lot.

“So far, whatever films we made, travelled to film festivals and won awards and most of them are not commercially released. If I look closely at the matter, most of those films are not entertaining enough to hold the attention of children. So I want to make films that have enough entertainment value to get a theatrical release, because the prime audience of those films is children.”

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Did he speak to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani?

“Well, since she is a former television actress and knows the entertainment industry closely, I had expected her to address the issue. In the last four months, though I wrote a letter to her seeking an appointment, I did not receive any response from her end. This is also one of the reasons why I felt really upset,” Khanna said.

–IANS

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