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10 filmmakers return national awards over growing intolerance

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Mumbai/Pune: In a dramatic development, 10 prominent filmmakers returned various awards and honours to the government, protesting impediments to freedom of speech and expression and showing solidarity with the FTII students, here on Wednesday.

The filmmakers are Anand Patwardhan, Dipankar Banerjee, Paresh Kamdar, Nishtha Jain, Kirti Nakhwa, Harshavardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri and Lipika Singh Darai.

“As filmmakers, we stand firmly with the students of FTII and are determined to not let them shoulder the entire burden of their protests. They have mounted a historic struggle and we urge others within our fraternity to come forward and carry this protest forward,” a memorandum signed by the filmmakers said.

The development came hours after three prominent alumni of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, announced they would return their national awards to protest against what they termed “an atmosphere of intolerance” in the country in last few months.

They are Vikrant Pawar of Maharashtra, Rakesh Shukla of Uttar Pradesh and Prateek Vats of Goa.

Pawar had bagged the President’s Gold Medal for his film, ‘Kaatal’ in the Best Short Fiction category in 2012.

Shukla won the Special Mention Award at the National Students Film Festival in 2013 for his film ‘Donkey Fair’.

Vats bagged the Rajat Kamal Award for Best Short Fiction for his film, ‘Kal, 15 August, Dukan Band Rahegi’ in 2010.

The decision by the filmmakers came shortly after the FTII students announced an end to their 139-day long strike, but resolved to continue their agitation peacefully to protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman.

Pawar said now the issue has “gone beyond FTII” and is affecting the entire education system of the country, right from the primary school levels, which is being changed without taking into account aspects which concern the society at large.

Pawar, Shukla and Vats join the long list of various scholars, intellectuals, writers, artists and others who have returned various national awards and honours across the country in the past few days.

(IANS)

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Returning such hard earned awards is not the solution to the problem. There can be other methods too. As all of these are prominent figures in the film industry, they can work together, take steps together for whatever they wish the government should do.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Returning such hard earned awards is not the solution to the problem. There can be other methods too. As all of these are prominent figures in the film industry, they can work together, take steps together for whatever they wish the government should do.

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Welcome the new Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Anupam Kher

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role

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Veteran actor Anupam Kher. Wikimedia

Pune, October 11, 2017 : Anupam Kher, an actor with a repertoire of over 500 movies including international projects, was named Chairman of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. The film industry hailed the move.

Official sources confirmed Anupam’s appointment. He will succeed the controversial Gajendra Chauhan, whose appointment had triggered student protests.

Anupam’s wife Kirron Kher, an actress and BJP MP from Chandigarh, told Times NOW: “I’m very happy. Of course, it’s a challenging job for anybody. It’s not going to be an easy job. These chairmanships are crown of thorns. Here, people do get against you, but I am sure Anupam will be able to take them along because he is an extremely talented person.”

Anupam, who began his acting career with “Saaransh” in 1984, also has his own acting institute Actor Prepares.

Kirron said Anupam was the right choice to head the FTII, which provides training in acting, direction and other technical aspects of film making in a country which is one of the largest producers of movies.

ALSO READ Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune to Screen Films Made by its Alumni from August 5

“My husband is a very fine actor. He has been in the film industry for so many years. He is very capable of (being FTII head).

“He has been teaching acting for so long. He is the only person who earlier headed CBFC, then National School of Drama and now has been appointed Chairman of FTII.

“So, I am a very proud wife today. I would like to thank the government and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry,” she said.

Asked what she meant by ‘crown of thorns’, she said: “I meant the CBFC, not FTII.”

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: “Heartiest congratulations to Anupam Kher for being appointed as the Chairman of FTII.”

Filmmaker Pritish Nandy called it an “excellent change” at FTII. “Finally, the government is listening to us.”

Actor Kabir Bedi said Anupam “would do wonders” in his new role. (IANS)

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