IFFI is a government fest, have to care for sensitivities: Vani Tripathi Tikoo

Nov 15, 2017, 12.58AM IST
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NEW DELHI: In the midst of the controversy surrounding the resignation of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) jury chairman Sujoy Ghosh, IFFI steering committee member Vani Tripathi Tikoo defended the decision to drop two films from the event and said the decision was made to protect the “sensitivities and physical safety of viewers”.

Ghosh, who has directed films such as Kahaani and Ahalya, resigned after the information and broadcasting ministry overruled the jury’s decision on featuring two films — Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S Durga and Ravi Jadhav’s Nude.

While S Durga is the story of a couple walking a deserted road with the woman facing harassment from men, national film award winning director Jadhav’s Nude is the story of a poor woman who works as a nude model for art students.

“I am all for creativity but the moment films come into the public exhibition space, their form and reception content change,” said Tikoo, who is also a member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). “Freedom is never absolute. We are a sensitive democracy. We have to give importance to sentiments around us, even as film makers. If the ministry has taken this reason I am sure there must have been a valid reason.”

Countries all across the world have certification bodies looking at content for public viewing based on its societal influences, she added. She hit back at Ghosh for “being irresponsible for not raising issues inside the system and sending out his resignation through media”. “Sujoy should be reaching out to the ministry instead of sitting abroad and talking through media.

The focus of the festival is to bring out the best in India cinema, and give it an opportunity to establish a global connect. Creating a tamasha will fracture the dialogue that has already begun,” she said. IFFI is a government film festival, Tikoo argued, adding that “only responsibility and accountability” were driving the committee that was managing the festival.

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