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Film Federation of India withdraws decision to boycott IFFI 2012

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NEW DELHI: The Film Federation of India, the apex body of the film industry, has decided to cooperate in the organisation of the International Film Festival of India in Goa in November following assurances by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry that there was no intention to keep out FFI from the organisation of the Festival.

In fact, I&B Joint Secretary (Films) Raghavendra Singh met delegations of the FFI twice in this regard and has also assured them that he will meet them in Mumbai on 5 November for sorting out any thorny issues.

Early in September, the FFI had decided to boycott all activities of the IFFI to protest its being by-passed and not being called to any meeting of the Steering and other Committees.

FFI president Vinod Lamba told indiantelevision.com that they were told of the Industry Coordination Committee meeting as late as August-end by which time some major discussions that are normally taken at this meeting had already been taken by the Directorate of Film Festivals and the IFFI Secretariat.

FFI has always been an essential component of the Steering Committee and its members actively involved in various other committees and sub-committees such as Theatre, Technical, Hospitality and others. But this has not happened in recent years. "FFI can only assume that either the committees have been discontinued or FFI has been kept out of them," Lamba said.

The IFFI by its very tenets is a festival held jointly by the Government and the Indian Film Industry, and the Film Federation of India being the apex body of the industry has been "playing their part with total sincerity and efficiency".

In 2011, the time honoured tradition of the Vote of Thanks being delivered by the FFI President at the IFFI opening had been done away with at the level of the DFF with no proper and timely information being conveyed formally to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry or FFI, Lamba said.

"While this callous misadventure may appear to have been nipped in the bud and status quo restored, the deliberate mishandling of affairs at the Inauguration event itself conveyed a greater affront to the persona and position of the FFI President, prompting the then Minister (Mrs Ambika Soni) herself to rush on stage to take corrective action," Lamba added.

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