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IFFI, Indian Panorama must be beyond politics: Ruchi Narain

By Sugandha Rawal
Panaji, Nov 22 (IANS) Film director and screenplay writer Ruchi Narain, a jury member of the Indian Panorama of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IIFI), says negativity around the gala — which celebrates diversity of cinema — makes her upset. It should be beyond politics, she believes.

“Firstly, I am very upset if there is negativity around it (the film festival) because it is an very amazing festival and an endeavour. It has taken years to build it up and a lot of hard work. I think the platform of IFFI and the Indian Panorama is and should be beyond politics because it is a government body which has been instituted and whatever we do, should be for the sanctity of that body,” Narain told IANS.

“The Panorama and IFFI are great platforms to showcase the best of the cinema. The Indian Panorama is for the best of Indian cinema, especially regional films which otherwise don’t get a showcase because of commercial consideration and everything. So here is a place where film lovers can come and see these films,” she added.

From the “Padmavati” release date stir to the row after Ravi Jadhav’s Marathi drama “Nude” and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s “S Durga” were removed from the jury-recommended list of IFFI, the 48th edition of the fest has not been in news for all the right reasons.

Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh resigned as the feature films’ jury head after the two movies were dropped, which led to resignations from some other members of the jury too. Several people made calls to boycott the fest too.

Ushering in some positivity, Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed IFFI to screen “S Durga”.

“IFFI itself has so many amazing sections whether it is Indian Panorama or Film Bazaar or the masterclasses or the retrospective — which is why personally I have said that I am coming to IFFI. I don’t want to boycott it because I think it is a great place.”

So what does she think of people skipping the edition of the movie mela to mark their protest?

“I have clearly expressed whatever issue I had, which was about exclusion of two films which the jury had selected — that was my protest. It doesn’t mean that I don’t support the other film which we selected. Those (‘S Durga’ and ‘Nude’) were quality superior films, but the other films are also amazing.

“Other films also need the same respect. If any other had got excluded, I would have had a similar protest.”

In her career, Narain has penned the acclaimed film like “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”, and she forayed into the animation space with “Hanuman Da Damdaar”.

(Sugandha Rawal’s trip to Goa is at the invitation of the IFFI organisers. She can be contacted at [email protected])

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