To trace, acquire and preserve for posterity the heritage of Indian cinema;
To classify, document data and undertake research relating to films;
To act as a centre for the dissemination of film culture.
With headquarters at Pune, Maharashtra, NFAI has three regional offices at Bangalore, Calcutta and Thiruvananthapuram. Developed from scratch by P. K. Nair, NFAI's activities relating to dissemination of film culture are manifold. Its Distribution Library has about 25 active members throughout the country and it also organises joint screening programmes on weekly, fortnightly and monthly basis in six important centres. It has over 10,000 films, over 10,000 books, over 10,000 film scripts, and over 50,000 photographs. Another important programme is the film teaching scheme comprising long and short term Film Appreciation courses conducted in collaboration with the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and other educational and cultural institutions. At the International level, NFAI supplied several Indian classics for major screening programmes.