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Vani Tripathi Tikoo, IFFI Steering Committee Member, Defends Decision To Drop Durga & Nude

Subhash K . Jha

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The soft spoken and articulate  BJP politician Vani Tripathi Tikoo who is not only a member of the Revising Committee of  the Central  Board Of Film Certification  but is also part  of  the Steering Committee   of  the IFFI, is not the least rancorous  about the rebellious stand  taken by two filmmakerSanal Sasidharan and  Ravi Jadhav.

“They are angry and upset  since their  films are not being shown in  at the IFFI. But  we who organize  the Festival every year year must be granted some amount of  aesthetic and creative intelligence. The  decision to  pull  out the two films is being seen as anti-democratic by  some. But  tell me,would we want to risk losing our global credibility as  democratic nation  making free-willed cinema by muzzling two films?The Indian panorama has represented the Indian diaspora for  many years now. The  IFFI curates  and compiles  works from all across the world bringing together  the best cinematic  voices. Would we want  to risk looking as though we(the  BJP government) is muzzling artistic freedom?”  argues Vani Tripathi Tikoo.

Ms Tripathi Tikoo  submits that the Indian government is eager to promote the cause of Good Cinema. “We are sincerely devoted to promoting parallel cinema  or alternate  cinema  or  off-mainstream cinema as a feasible  source  of entertainment in our country.That’s why we allow young filmmakers to take their  bright honest fearless films to festivals  across the world without a censor certification because we  know the exposure to a world audience would give their films a wider audience back home as well. Do we look like  an organization that  would try to control content?”

So what was  the problem with S Durga and  Nude?

Says Ms Tripathi Tikoo, “There were 30 films being screened. 28 of them had no problem whatsoever. Why was there a problem with only 2 films? I will tell you why. Ravi Jadhav’s Nude was submitted to  us in an incomplete form.So it was rejected on  technicality. As  for Sexy Durga or S Durga—I am not sure  of the title—it violated some  CBFC guidelines.It was rejected by the

​  Kerala  Film Festival ​

festival as well. Would it have made sense for one Indian film festival to reject and the other to accept the same film?”

All  said and done Ms  Tripathi Tikoo does’t  think the  disenchantment  of the two disqualified filmmakers  to be condemnable. “They are distinguished members  of the  same film fraternity which our festivals want  to promote. Yes, they are angry. But the  voice of dissent is also an integral part of that beautiful fabric of India democracy.And we shall be hearing a lot of  dissenting voices  in  the films that we’ve chosen  for  the panorama this year at the  IFFA.”

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