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I&B Ministry seeks to placate irate film fraternity over IFFI

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NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has assured the film fraternity that it had never intended to keep out representatives from the organisation of the International Film Festival of India.

I&B Joint Secretary (Films) Raghavendra Singh told a delegation of the Film Federation of India that the he would examine their grievances but requested them to cooperate with the organisation of the Festival, being held in November in Panaji, Goa.

Singh, an Indian Administrative Service officer of the 1983 batch from the West Bengal cadre, said he had been in the Ministry for just a few weeks and would study their issues.

The FFI was represented by its President Vinod Lamba, Secretary General Supran Sen, and Vice-Presidents L Suresh and Ravi Kottarakara, Rajendra Singh from Delhi, and Ramesh Tekwani from Mumbai among others.

The move comes just over a week after the FFI, the apex body of the film industry, 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.

The members present told Raghavendra Singh 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 IFFI Secretariat.

The Federation in its Annual General Meeting earlier this month in Mumbai unanimously decided that FFI will not participate in any of the activities of IFFI.

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 and ‘FFI can only assume that either the committees have been discontinued or FFI has been kept out of them.’

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.’

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