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<nettime> Campaign against Censorship
Jeebesh Bagchi on Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:37:30 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Campaign against Censorship


More than 175 of the leading documentary filmmakers of India today announced
 a boycott of the Mumbai International Film Festival to be held in Mumbai in
 early 2004. This follows a decision by the organisers of the festival, Films
 Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India to
 introduce a clause which requires only Indian documentaries entered for the
 festival to be censored by the Indian Board of Film Censors. It may be
 pointed out that foreign films entered at the festival do not need to be
 censored.

It is an accepted practice world-wide that film festivals are arenas of
 uninhibited and creative expression. No international festival of repute
 censors films. It should also be pointed out that the organisers have
 already run seven previous editions of MIFF without this regulation.

Having come together under the banner of a "Campaign against Censorship at
 Miff 2004", the boycott call by film-makers follows a six-week period in
 which every attempt was made to persuade the organisers to change their
 stance. No response was forthcoming. This is a shame because the festival
 was meant to promote the best of international documentaries and it can
 hardly claim to do this while it is simultaneously trying to muzzle the
 voice of the Indian documentary.

We would like you to join us in the boycott of the forthcoming Mumbai
 International Film Festival in early 2004. We believe that only the
 solidarity of our fellow film-makers, and the broader support of civil
 society will prevent the Mumbai Festival from degenerating into a narrow,
 conservative and censored charade.

Placed below is a brief text that we request you to immediately email to the
 following: 1 Festival Director, MIFF filmsd {AT} bom4.vsnl.net.in
2 Minister, Information & Broadcasting, Govt of India ravis {AT} sansad.nic.in
3 Campaign against Censorship at Miff 2004  miff_campaign {AT} rediffmail.com

In Solidarity,
.......
On behalf of Campaign Against Censorship at MIFF2004

TEXT TO BE EMAILED BY INTERNATIONAL FILM MAKERS IN SUPPORT OF THE CAMPAIGN

Solidarity with Indian film-makers in their Campaign against Censorship at
 MIFF 2004

We are shocked to learn that the Mumbai International Film Festival 2004 has
 imposed a condition which requires Indian films to be censored in order to
 be eligible for entry. This runs counter to the notion of free creative
 expression which is aabsolutely central to a film festival.

We support the Indian filmmakers who have decided not to participate in the
 festival till this condition is removed. We hope this will be done urgently
 so that the festival can be held in an atmosphere of creativity and
 cordiality.

As long as this condition exists, I will not send any film of mine to MIFF
 2004. I will also inform other filmmakers to do the same.

(Name)
(City/Country)
(email address)

-

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