A senior official in the FD administration said the films “cannot be screened before a large public as it is about the students’ agitation”. He admitted that “the administration was not comfortable with the screening”.
“We were told by the FD administration on Wednesday evening that the screenings have been cancelled. They said they do not have dates and that they are not comfortable with the idea of giving the students’ films a platform,” said Surabhi Sharma, one of the many independent filmmakers who curates films for ‘fd Zone’.
Sharma, along with other filmmakers, was curating the FTII films package too.
Sharma said this is for the first time that the FD has cancelled the screening of films made by FTII students. “FD even screens films which do not have the censor board’s certificate,” she said.
The screenings have now been shifted to a private auditorium in Prabhadevi in Mumbai.
Three short films made by the FTII students, based on their agitation, were to be screened at the FD on Friday. A five-minute documentary on the agitation, ‘Strike: Day 70’, based on a song, was also be screened. The documentary has been made by filmmaker Anand Patwardhan and Simantini Dhuru.
Students said cancelling the screening just confirms their fears about governmental control. “FD is a hub where cinema is discussed and learnt. We have not been told about the reasons for not screening our films. For years, FTII films have been screened at the FD and now the government is controlling that too. The films which were to be screened on Friday were just students’ perspectives and did not even speak directly about the strike,” said FTII alumnus Yashasvi Mishra.’