21 October, 2020

Moving Pictures Of A Rebellion

Artistic dissent has a 'Vikalp' to the Mumbai film fest

Atul Loke
Moving Pictures Of A Rebellion
P.L. Deshpande Hall and Bhupesh Gupta Bhavan are virtually across the road from each other in Prabhadevi, central Mumbai. Yet, the announcement of the films that would be shown at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) of documentary and short films seemed to stretch the distance between them alarmingly, from a 100-metre stroll to the light years that separate opposing ideologies.

A raft of prominent documentary filmmakers claimed last week that the organisers of MIFF—scheduled over February 4-9—were using a hugely flawed selection process to carry out 'backdoor censorship'. Several, like Sanjay Kak and Rakesh Sharma, had their work rejected. Others, like Biju Toppo and Meghnath, found themselves in sync with the underlying allegation that the MIFF organisers were cherry-picking films to exclude any that criticised the government on globalisation and the new economic policy, and withdrew their already accepted entries.

In all, close to 60 dissident filmmakers took their films across the road to Bhupesh Gupta Bhavan, where they set up the Vikalp (alternative)...


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