Promoting values through films
Member of International Council for Film, Television, and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), Georges Dupont and UNESCO representative, Eric Falt spoke about inspiring the production and distribution of excellent audio-visual works, especially among young artists. IFFI has collaborated with the ICFT to present a special ICFT prize known as the UNESCO Gandhi medal.
Every year this prize is awarded to a film at IFFI which skilfully portrays Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-violence, peace and tolerance. This year has 12 films competing in this section. Of these 12 films, two of them are Indian – ‘Walking With The Wind’ and ‘Baaram’ which is a Tamil entry.
Speaking at the conference Dupont said it is difficult every year as the films have to meet UNESCO’s ideals and objectives. He said: “We have spent a lot of time to select the films.” Diversity and different cultural origins are the other criteria for selecting films. Falt said: “UNESCO supports culture in all its forms. Cinema and UNESCO have a longstanding love affair especially if it supports the values that we want to support. These values are peace, unity and international cooperation. That’s what this particular ICFT award means to recognise through films.”
He disclosed that he is also here because it happens to be the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Falt looks forward to doing even more next year for the 50th International Film Festival of India. He said: “India probably has the most vibrant film industry in the world. UNESCO is all about diversity and that’s why we’re happy and proud to be here.”
With regard to youngsters, Dupont said they are keen on making films as they have access to modern facilities like cell phones. Even those who haven’t gone to film schools are making movies, video clips, etc. He is glad that the youth can express themselves as they are the future of the world.
Answering a query about how to promote values and reduce violence in films, Falt said: “That can be done by creating platforms for dialogue to explain why we think transmitting values through films are important.”