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FTII agitation: Venice Film Festival director urges Modi to engage with students ‘with open mind’

FTII students had written to several film personalities, heads of film schools and others linked to cinema, requesting them to support the agitation.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
October 4, 2015 12:52:37 am

Alberto Barbera, director of Venice Film Festival – regarded as the oldest film festival in the world – has now come out in support of the students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). Barbera has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley, requesting them to “engage with the students with an open mind and arrive at a solution.”

FTII students had written to several film personalities, heads of film schools and others linked to cinema, requesting them to support the agitation. Some including acclaimed Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf responded positively. More than 180 National Award winning film makers had also written to the President of India asking him to take steps to resolve the issue and address the concerns raised by students.

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“One of the FTII alumni whose film was screened at Venice apprised Barbera of the situation,” said Pratik Vatsa, an alumnus.

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In his letter written on October 1, Barbera said that the international community of film makers is saddened to see that students of one of the best film schools in the world are struggling to get their legitimate concerns addressed.

“India, the world’s largest democracy, has stunning cultural and racial diversity. For us, it’s a nation representing hope, tolerance and peace, a country of limitless potential as a rapidly growing economic superpower…It’s in this light that we sincerely urge you to engage with the students of Film and Television Institute of India over the ongoing crisis and initiate a dialogue with an open mind. We do feel that the students’ concerns are pertinent and serious and they are waiting to be addressed by your government,” said Barbera, adding that FTII has been invaluable not only to Indian film industry, but also to the cultural sphere of Indian subcontinent and other Afro-Asian countries whose students have studied there.

“We hope that you will be able to engage with the students with an open mind, and be able to arrive at a solution that shows the level of seriousness and commitment you have towards the future of India’s cinema and it’s cultural stature as a modern nation,” concluded Barbera.

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First published on: 04-10-2015 at 12:52:37 am

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