It is indeed a happy augury for the Documentary Movement in India that in the as yet New Year of 1990, heralding the last decade of this century, there should be the Bombay International Film Festival of Documentary and Short Films (BIFEDASF) from March 1-7 at Bombay.
This is the first ever such a festival, exclusively devoted to Documentaries that is being held in India and it will be an annual feature from now on and a good transition to the 21st century, an occasion for retrospectives and prospective possibilities. It is the privilege of Films Division (FD) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India to organize the Festival and welcome the delegates, coming from near and far-especially the foreign delegates.
Over the years, FD has established warm rapport with the centers of the Documentary Movement the world over. Hence, it is befitting that the FD should host this Festival in cooperation with the Government of Maharashtra and like-minded organizations. As the Director of BlFFDASF and Chief Producer of the Films Division, I have a heavy weight to bear on my shoulders, all the more so because we are breaking new ground. It is not merely the nitty-gritty part of a festival, of looking after entry forms and films, theatres and programmers, delegates and jury members, social gatherings and discussions.
The intellectual components of a festival must be also provided in an ample measure. There is a seminar on the heritage of Dr. John Grierson, today and tomorrow. I am greatly enthused for I had the rare privilege of escorting him round the country as I was deputed to do so by FD. Whatever I am today, I owe much to him having gained from formal and informal talks with him and of course, from the books by and on him.
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