Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

Films Division (FD), the central government’s film arm, will create history with the commercial release of “Bansuri Guru”, a feature length documentary on the life of flute maestro Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia on April 12. This will be the first commercial release of an FD film in its 65 year old history.

That’s not all. If the film clicks with the audiences, FD has plans to regularly release feature length documentaries in commercial theaters. They are testing audience response through this release and are relying on social media for promotions. If this experiment works, they can look at promoting further releases in a strategic manner.

“Bansuri Guru”,  60 minutes,  is helmed by the legendary musician’s son Rajeev Chaurasia. Films Division chose to release this film because of its subject. Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia has a huge following and a film about him is sure to catch eyeballs.

Currently Films Division has no provision for Print and Advertising (P&A) budget. After taking over as the Director General of Films Division,V.S.Kundu has started screening documentary films at FD’s Mumbai premises. FD is also quite active in promoting these screenings through social media.

Films Division was set up in 1948 as the film arm of the government. It made more than 8,000 newsreels and documentaries in last six decades. It was mandatory (legally still is) for every theatre to screen newsreel produced by FD. However, gradually FD has lost its theatrical presence due to various reasons such as digitization of film exhibition and arrival of multiplexes.