New Delhi: Lauding the reach of Indian cinema across the globe, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley termed Indian film industry as its soft power abroad.
"Cinema is also a component of India's soft power abroad. We lead the world average in terms of number of movies produced each year. Indian movies have found increasing acceptance in the international forum.
"Government is committed to take all possible measures towards the overall growth of the film industry -- towards its even spread across the country and not restricted to certain pockets," Jaitley said while addressing the gathering at the 62nd National Film Awards ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan here on Sunday.
He said the top thing in the government's priority list is to take the entertainment industry to every nook and corner of India, which includes setting up of a film and television institute in northeast.
"Keeping this approach in mind, government is keen to set up a film and television Institute in the north eastern region for the benefit of the young creative minds from that region," he added.
Jaitley appreciated films like "Mary Kom" and "Queen" for bringing a woman and her strength into spotlight. "Queen" won the Best Hindi film award, while "Mary Kom" clinched the award in Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment category.
"We witness the triumph of the spirit of liberation and empowerment of women-centric themes on the silver screen. The success of movies such as 'Queen' and 'Mary Kom' are testimony to this.
Social values have influenced our cinema and similarly our cinema has also had a great impact on our social values," he said.
The minister, who looked simple in a light-coloured Kurta Pajama with a Nehru jacket, noted that the saga of Indian cinema will be incomplete without the mention of the entrepreneur angle.
"Spread over the fruitful 100 years of Indian cinema, the saga has been that of a spirit of entrepreneurship," he said, adding that experimentation and innovation with new themes in form, content and technology have always been employed by movie makers of India.
He also congratulated young singer Uttara Unnikrishanan, who won the Best Playback Female Singer award for the song "Azhagu" from Tamil movie "Saivam". "I would like to congratulate her on her achievement at an early age.
We wait for the time when she will captivate the world with her melodious voice," Jaitley said.