Union Information & Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday inaugurated the Independence Day Film Festival and said Indian cinema has helped inculcate the feeling of patriotism among the citizens.
"Indian cinema played a vital role not only during the freedom movement but also helped propagate the deeds of our leaders. There are a number of classics like Gandhi, Shaheed, Ayirathi Thollayirathi Irupathi Onnu, Haqueeqat and others that have inspired us," Naidu said while addressing students and dignitaries like Minister Of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore.
The week-long festival, which culminates on August 18, opened with the screening of Richard Attenborough's much-acclaimed 1982 film Gandhi.
Praising the film, which is a biopic of M.K. Gandhi, Naidu said the movie brought the attention of the world to India's freedom movement.
"Gandhi turned attention of the world to the Indian freedom movement, which was based on non-violence."
Films like Border, Lagaan, Chak De India, Mary Kom and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and _I Am Kalam _will also be screened at the festival.
Filmmaker A.K. Bir, who was one of the first-unit cameramen for Gandhi, said he enjoyed working with Attenborough and the director even helped him through difficult situations.
"It was special to be involved with Gandhi and working with a director like Attenborough. I once had difficulties while taking a shot of an aircraft but then Attenborough came to me and asked me if I was fine. His voice was so assuring that I forgot my nervousness and was able to take the shot perfectly," Bir shared.
Director Chitraarth, whose Punjabi film Shaheed Udham Singh will be screened as part of the festival, said events like this will help today's generation to know more about the freedom fighters of our country.
"I congratulate the organisers of this festival. We remember visuals more and so I think festivals like these are very important. It will be helpful for today's generation for knowing about the freedom movement of our country," he said.