Here is a rare chance to watch as many as 104 award-winning and critically acclaimed films in "Best of Indian Cinema", a new segment on public service broadcaster Doordarshan, starting Nov 10 with Adoor Gopalakrishnan's "Nizhalkkuthu".
Doordarshan will telecast a line-up of films which have even been screened at the coveted national and foreign film festivals through its new offering and familiarise the audience with non-mainstream filmmakers.
Tripurari Sharan, Director General, Doordarshan, Wednesday said at the announcement this is an opportunity for film lovers to catch movies that are otherwise available only at the festivals.
Currently, the screenings are scheduled for 11.p.m. slot on Sunday and Monday and Sharan informed that it's a flexi plan and added: "We will test the waters for a few months. I'm starting with twice a week, I might even increase and give four films to the viewers if the Indian audience have that kind of appetite."
The unique effort will familiarise the audience with some of the best creative minds who have earned name and fame in the festival circuit in the country and abroad, but are strangers to their own coutnrymen.
The line-up, spread over a year, will include films that may have won the prestigious Swarna and Rajat Kamal for best feature film from any Indian language or the Indira Gandhi award winner for best first film of a director.
The best part is that is coming directly to viewers' bedrooms and they don't have to either go to a fest and queue up for hours to watch their favourite films.
There will be films that have been selected for the Indian Panorama of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and films that have been invited to the film festivals at Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, Locarno, London, Karlovy Vary, Nantes, Rotterdam, Fribourg, Munich, Busan, Hongkong, Tokyo, Rome or Sydney.
Sharan said that one of the main reasons behind the initiative was the "fervent requests coming from independent filmmakers and as public broadcaster it is our job to promote independent cinema."
The films will be in languages like Malayalam, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani, Bangla, and hence they will be sub-titled.
Among those already scheduled for telecast are - Umesh Nayak Kulkarni's "Deol", Dyanesh Moghe's "Digant" and Jahar Kanungo's "Nisshabd".
"We have got multiple telecast rights of these films," said Sharan and added that if a film is premiering on DD, they are paying Rs.25 lakh to the maker, otherwise Rs.15 lakh.