Though the National Museum of Indian Cinema was ready long ago, yet it was awaiting it’ formal inauguration. At last the day came when the National Museum was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Mnister of India, ShNarendraModi on 19th Jan 2019 in Mumbai. Modi began his speech with the popular line from ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, asking the gathering, “How’s the josh?” and drawing laughter and “High, sir” in response.

Noting that Indian films, which once focused on “helplessness”, are changing, Modi said, “Films and society are a reflection of each other. Films also create hopes and aspirations… Once, only rich people from big cities could enter the film industry, but now artistes from small cities are getting a foothold on the strength of their artistic abilities. This shows India is changing. Earlier, poverty was considered a virtue… Films were about poverty, helplessness. Now, along with problems, solutions are also being shown in the films. If there are a million problems, there are a billion solutions.”
“Our films are becoming popular outside the country too,” Modi said, adding that he had met some world leaders who could recite entire lyrics of Indian songs even though they didn’t know the language. He quoted the example of Israeli Prime Ministerhumming the old Hindi popular song,” Ichak Dana, Ichak Dana, Dane uperDana.”Even the songs from Raj Kapur’s earlier films are very popular abroad.
On a single-window clearance system for shooting permissions, and piracy – two of the biggest issues are adversely affecting the Indian Film industry for years – the PM said, “The government has started working on a single-window clearance system for film shoot permissions. A portal is being put in place, where you only submit required details and within a stipulated time, clearances will be given.” Modi also said piracy is “an insult” to the hard work of filmmakers. “Technology has changed but the law is very old from 1952. The film industry should think at depth and suggest as these laws are good for nothing. The government is taking steps to make amendments in the Cinematograph Act of 1952,” the Prime Minister said.
“Like the World Economic Forum at Davos, can there be a similar global film summit in the country? The world should get exposure to an industry that employs lakhs of people,” said, Modi.

The Prime Minister’s address at the inaugural event of the National Museum of Indian Cinema was highly “encouraging and inspiring “as reported by the Film Fraternity.

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Aamir Khan said, “It was really wonderful to hear the Prime Minister. His expectation and vision about the creative field were really encouraging to hear.” Aanand L Rai added, “It feels good when cinema gets this kind of attention and focus. And also when the higher authorities are taking care and giving the due which was always needed. It strengthens us.”
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Information and Broadcasting, RajyavardhanRathore was also present. The film frat also turned out in large numbers, with veterans like Asha Bhosle, Manoj Kumar and Jeetendra to AR Rahman, Aamir Khan, Boney Kapoor, Karan Johar, SubhashGhai, Aanand L Rai, KanganaRanaut and Parineeti Chopra.

The state of art, National Museum built at the cost over Rs. 140 crores, aims to take its’ visitors through absorbing journey of over a century of Indian Cinema with the help of visuals, graphics, artefacts, interactive exhibits and multimedia expositions. Housed in two buildings, the five story new Museum building and the 19 th Century Victorian Gothic Bungalow, GulshanMahal on the Film Division Complex in Mumbai. After decades of being used as the house of Khaja merchant, a hospital for World war II soldiers, the Jai Hind College campus and the Film Division office. GulshanMahal houses artefacts of Indian pre cinema history like “Chitrapat’- un raveling scroll of pictures and Magic Lantern which shows successive projection of glass slide images creating illusion and movement. It also showcases over a hundred years of Indian Cinema through nine sections, ranging from the origin of Indian Cinema to silent films to studio era to the wave.

Eminent filmmaker ShyamBenegal, who is the head of the Museum Advisory Committee, says “one part is the past and other is the future”. He predicts that this complex would become the highlight of the touristy Mumbai Yatra.

I congratulate Col. RajyavardhanRathore , (Retd), AVSM , Hon’ble Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Sports and Youth Affairs and all officers and staff of ministry of I&B and Film Division on the great grand achievement of setting up of state of art  National Museum of  Indian Cinema, in Mumbai . I hope that it will become a great land mark for all the tourists and cinefiles visiting Mumbai, from all over the world.

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