CINEMA is an important tool for promoting friendship among the people of the world, says divisional education officer North Satya Shandil.
Speaking at the launch of the Labasa FNU Fiji Film Festival 2013, Mr Shandil said films had the potential to become a powerful medium to provide value-based entertainment as well as education.
"I am delighted to be here on this wonderful occasion for two reasons.
"The first is that it is wonderful to see FNU and Film Fiji take on this leading role of promoting the arts in our society as it provides an opportunity for our people to have the opportunity to see and appreciate it through film," he said.
"Secondly, as an emerging university responsible for educating and developing critical mass in society, films brings us the diversity and commonality of socio-economic, political, environmental and developmental issues which we share across borders.
"This Fiji Film Festival is providing a unique opportunity to showcase the best of the cinemas of the world to the people of Fiji."
Mr Shandil said cinema was a medium that could entertain, enlighten, educate and inspire people.
FNU Labasa campus administrator Riteshni Singh said it was encouraging to note the increase in the number of local entries this year, a sign that the popularity of film production was growing.
Mrs Singh said the involvement of students in acting and producing short films could only lead to bigger things.
"A total of 162 films from 28 countries, including all recent films made in Fiji, will be screened," she said.
"Apart from that, we will showcase 48 films made by students for the Kula Film Awards.
"We are also showcasing a special section commemorating 100 years of Indian cinema."