Pune: Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) admininstrators have stopped the screening of the students’ documentary film Hora directed by Harishankar Nachimuthu raising security concerns after receiving threats from ABVP.
The film mainly revolves around Kabir Kala Manch.
This is what we have always been afraid of!
Most of our earlier GBMs during strike was about how the new appointments, systematic and strategic crackdown of FTII would change the nature and philosophy of the place. We had discussions of what if one day they stop screening eastern bloc cinema and ask us to produce censor certificate for our own films.
Finally, our nighgmares are becoming a scary reality! The day FTII students are asked to produce the censor certificate to screen the students films isn’t far!
During strike, the then director Prasanth Pathrabe had tried to stop the screening of Sabnam Sukhdev’s film ‘The Telephone’, pointing at the censor issues. Post strike, our access to the classroom theatre has been restricted by the admin and today they stopped Nachi’s film screening.
When the 2008 batch diplomas were to be assessed as is where is basis, the admin had got police men standing outside the Main Theatre to keep us away from our own films’ assessment.
Now, when ABVP, the right wing outfit which had once attacked FTII students for screening Jai Bhim Comrade, issues a threat, why doesn’t the admin and the director Mr Bhupendra Kainthola ask for police protection?
Nachimuthu, being a student at the premiere film school of the country that is being funded by the public money has all the right to have his film screened, whenever he wants once the film is made. The institute has the responsibility to make sure that the screening happens without any issues.
Why is the admin not ready to take a step towards it when in other cases they rush to finish off the films and send the students out?
Are public servants not supposed to do their duty if there’s a threat from any fringe groups? If the students of FTII cannot screen our own films at FTII, where else it would be possible in this country, under current scenario?
May be these concerns are for later. But now we need to make sure at least the screening of Hora will happen in the campus without getting interrupted by the admin, ABVP or any other right wing outfit. It is a question of freedom of expression without doubt for which we have always stood for!
[The writer, Shini J.K, is a film professional.]
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