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Shyam Benegal: Need to have a dedicated TV channel for science

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal says there is a need to have a 24-hour channel about science in the country.

Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal

Benegal, who is hailed as the flag bearer of alternative cinema in India, is charing the jury of the 6th National Science Film Festival and Competition.

"One of the aims of the event is that there should be a science channel which will be an outlet for films of this kind. If it is a 24 hour channel then all the better because I think there will be enough material to go on air and it would certainly be one of the best educational channels we can have in our country," Benegal told reporters here.

The film festival is organised by Vigyan Prasar, Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with National Council of Science Museums, Ministry of Culture.

Benegal, who has directed critically-acclaimed films like "Ankur", "Nishant" and "Manthan", believes there is no urgent need for Bollywood filmmakers to make a movie, which revolves around science.

"There is no particular need for that to happen. The directors are most welcome to make films (on science) if they are interested in it. I don't think a net is being cast to get them to make films. I think there are enough enthusiastic young people to make films.

"There is no need but if they do that will be wonderful. Because you'll also get a lot of expertise. We have a large country with a large population and a significant number of them who have formal education and are training to be film directors."

The primary objective of the event is to create awareness in science and to promote scientific temper through the films.

45 films have been shortlisted for the competition, out of which one movie will get the National Beaver Awards of approximately 7.2 lakhs.

The film festival will be held from February 9 to 13 at Nehru Science Centre in Worli, Mumbai.

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