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IFFI is not political ground for staging the protest, says festival director Senthil

People are using the IFFI as a platform for staging their protest. IFFI is a campus for cinema and not for politics, said the director of 46th International Film Festival of India.

Senthil was speaking to the media about the recent protest of FTII student in the IFFI campus. Rajan broke his silence first time after the protest of a student at the inaugural ceremony of IFFI. Senthil told the media that due to the unacceptable behavior of the FTII students at the IFFI venue and that he had to drop the entire student film section in order to replace it with the repeat screenings of the popular films on public demand.

Rajan said that they never stopped any delegate or any film student who came here to watch movies. IFFI is meant for showcasing of the films. But this is not the political or protest arena for the people to come and protest.  “It is the place for showcasing the films and we have been very clear on this from the beginning. We did not stop anybody who wanted to come and enjoy the movies in this arena,” said Senthil. He also thanked Goa police for handling the matter sensitively.

The strike of FTII student started in Maharashtra, much before the commencement of the IFFI festival Goa. They commenced their 139-day strike from June 12 this year. The students are protesting against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan in the post of Chairman of FTII claiming that he is unfit for the assigned position. But the ministry of Information and Broadcasting did not succumb to the demands of the students and that made students stage the strike against this injustice. Their strike was later called off on October 29 giving the indication of resuming the same at the later date.

While narrating their side of the story, a spokesperson for FTII students claimed that more than two dozens of students were denied the delegate registration for 46th IFFI and two ex-students were arrested for protesting at the inaugural of IFFI and one student was detained by police for wearing the T-shirt with FTII logo at the festival campus. This made the FTII student to start the two-day parallel film festival featuring the films made by them along with their supporters at the nearby location to the main IFFI event.

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Senthil denied the allegation made by the FTII student and claimed that the cancellation of registration of FTII student was done only after their threat to disrupt the international festival event. “The total number of students who registered for the delegate passes of IFFI is more than four hundred which includes FTII students too and we have cancelled only one registration of the student who threaten the police saying that ‘I will come inside the venue and protest,” said Rajan.

Rajan also claimed that due to this incident they had to cancel the entire student’s film section in the festival at the last moment disrupting the entire festival’s programming schedule and accommodating the repeat screenings of the popular films in those slots. He said that “The media has been writing that we have dropped the FTII student package. We have not dropped FTII student film package, we have dropped the entire student film package, which actually comes from different film schools, not just FTII. It has been dropped only to accommodate IFFI repeats. “It’s (IFFI student film section) not that we have sacrificed it, it’s only an issue of taking the best,” he added.

Source: Various Sources

Edited by Goa Prism News Desk

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