In a significant diplomatic and cultural move, Dr. L. Murugan, the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, represented India at the opening of the 15th Tashkent International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 29, 2023. The event saw the participation of an Indian delegation led by Dr. Murugan, which included renowned senior film producer and director Umesh Mehra and officials from the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC).
India and Uzbekistan share a storied history of collaboration in filmmaking, dating back to the Soviet era. The 15th TIFF marked an opportunity to further strengthen these longstanding ties, as the NFDC and Uzbek Kino (Uzbek Films) joined forces to foster greater cooperation.
During his visit, Dr. Murugan held discussions with Uzbekistan’s Culture & Tourism Minister, Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Both sides acknowledged the enduring friendship and cooperation between their countries and expressed a mutual desire to expand bilateral relations across various sectors, particularly in the realms of filmmaking and culture.
Dr. Murugan took the opportunity to highlight the remarkable growth of India’s audio-visual sector, attributing it to the robust policies of the Government of India, aimed at bolstering the nation’s creative economy under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He extended an offer of cooperation to Uzbekistan in co-production, shooting, and post-production, emphasizing India’s readiness to provide training to Uzbek filmmakers and students at esteemed institutions like the Films and Television Institute of India.
On the sidelines of the TIFF, Dr. Murugan also engaged with the Turkish delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Culture & Tourism Dr. B. Mumcu. He apprised the Turkish side of the exceptional opportunities for filming in India and the utilization of state-of-the-art technical infrastructure available in the country’s flourishing filmmaking industry.
This diplomatic mission not only promotes cultural exchange but also underscores India’s commitment to forging stronger ties in the world of cinema, fostering international collaboration, and showcasing India as a premier destination for filmmaking. As the 15th Tashkent International Film Festival continues, the hope is that it will serve as a catalyst for further cinematic partnerships between India, Uzbekistan, and other nations.