The International Film Festival of India, which concluded recently, has landed in controversy after veteran documentary filmmaker Arvind Sinha questioned Bollywood’s presence in the festival, referring to the likes of filmmaker Karan Johar. According to a new report by PTI, Arvind Sinha said that Bollywood is ‘getting into these spaces’ and further added, ‘They don’t need support from the government. What are they doing here?’ (Also read: Film Bazaar concludes with record participation and inspiring discussions)
What the filmmaker said
As per a new report by PTI, Arvind says: “What is to be promoted (through IFFI) is good cinema. Bollywood has its own money, finance, muscle power, through all these things, they are getting into these spaces… (The people) who are making the decision should have clarity that public taxpayers money should not be spent on filmmakers like Karan Johar… They (IFFI organisers) have to support the documentary filmmakers, feature filmmakers who need support. There are no rajas-maharajas to support the artistes, the government should support any work of art…Why should these spaces be given to those who already have everything? They don’t need support from the government. What are they doing here? The film festival is not for them. The film festival should be for good cinema.”
Karan Johar was present at the 54th IFFI in Goa, where he unveiled the motion poster of their upcoming film Ae Watan Mere Watan with Sara Ali Khan.
Response from IFTDA
Aravind Sinha’s remarks did not sit well with the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA), who released a statement condemning the speech as ‘distasteful.’ The official statement read, ““The speech of Chairperson, Indian Panorama non feature film jury head, Mr. Arvind Sinha, on the 2nd day of the opening ceremony of IFFI function in Goa, is distasteful, disgusting and disastrous, which had made Hon. Members of film fraternity a target of hate.”
“Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association strongly condemns the irresponsible statement of Mr. Arvind Sinha, using the words ‘Bollywood Tamasha’ and ‘Nautanki’ for eminent Producers, Directors and Artists of Film Industry. A veteran Producer of superhit films, Mr. Karan Johar, is the most respected and honoured Producer of films and has a unique position in the film industry. To say ‘The Film Festival is not for them’ has made a dent in the sincere efforts of our government to make the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, a highlight for the filmmakers, distributors, artists, technicians and guests from the whole world. IFTDA pity the remarks of Mr. Arvind Sinha.”