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GFU was inaugurated on 5th September 1948. The first Director wasan Italian.

The unit was entrusted with the task to produce documentary and news coverages on events with national importance. These documentaries were used for public education in different parts of the country. Production, editing, colour laboratory, sound unit and the film hall, and archives are some of the facilities the GFU has at its disposal.

Opening the colour laboratory was a turning point. With German assistance the laboratory was converted to use colour in 1981.

The Film Archive is one of the valuable resources of the Department. All documentaries produced by the GFU are preserved by converting into DVDs. Scenes of these old films are provided to media institutions on a fee rated depending on the length of the negative. Providing films for external demonstration is another task of this unit.

The department assists media in a macro level in welfare, training, policy planning and accreditation, and providing easy access to Government news and information.