Due to the ongoing students protests and security concerns, the organisers of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) have pulled out of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The Institute that was supposed to host screenings and events in PIFF this year will not be hosting any film screenings now.
While the PIFF organisers have said that the step has been taken because of the ongoing protests at the Institute, FTII Director Bhupendra Kainthola stated that the screenings will not be held due to some ‘unavoidable reasons’.
“The FTII students are protesting on various issues at the Institute, due to which we were concerned about the safety of our delegates. Also, we did not want to come in the way of the students who are fighting for a cause. I am a Dean of a Film Institute, and I understand the problems that the students face, so for everybody’s convenience, we decided the shift the venue of the events that we had planned to hold in FTII premises,” said Festival Director Dr Jabbar Patel.
The inauguration ceremony of PIFF, which was going to be at FTII, will now be held at Balgandharva Rangmandir, and the award function has been shifted to National Film Archive of India (NFAI). Several screenings and PIFF Forum will also be held at NFAI.
Earlier while announcing the Festival, Patel had informed, “As FTII too is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee this year, the Institute has invited us to host PIFF in their premises.”
Kainthola, however, has maintained that even though there will be no screenings at FTII, the Institute will continue to participate in PIFF in terms of workshops, jury and awards.
PIFF is scheduled to be held from January 9 to 17. This year, 60 years of Maharashtra is the theme for the Festival. Since FTII is also completing 60 years, it had been decided earlier that the Institute will open its doors to host PIFF. PIFF screenings will not even be taking place at the traditional venues of City Pride Multiplexes this time.