SRK & Bertrand appeal to fight dictatorships through cinema

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI, PANAJI | 23 November 2011 20:14 IST

Shahrukh Khan felicitating Bertrand Travernier at IFFI 2011

Don’t be afraid to fight against the dictatorships was the message echoed at the inaugural of the 42nd International Film Festival of India at Margao today evening.

The initiative in this regard was taken by two luminaries of the film world – India’s Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan and veteran French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, who was felicitated with life time achievement award.

“Film is the weapon to fight against all kind of dictatorships”, said Tavernier, the 70-year old director, producer and screen play writer, who had started making films at the age of 12.

Stating that we are today living in a terrible moment, Tavernier said we are frightened by dictatorship of globalization, dictatorship of fundamentalism and dictatorship of ignorance.

“Film is the right weapon to fight against all these dictatorship”, he told the international audience at Ravindra Bhavan in Margao amidst thundering applause.

He was felicitated by Shahrukh Khan in the presence of union minister for information and broadcasting Ambika Soni and Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat.

Earlier, after inaugurating IFFI 2011, Shahrukh also appalled t the filmmakers to fight and not to get afraid of any odds to achieve the goal.

“Don’t be afraid to defy conventions. Don’t be afraid to destroy structures that resist change. Don’t be afraid to fight against feudal institutions and fascism. Don’t be afraid to destroy systems that kill our nation, the world and our souls”, said Shahrukh.

He also appealed to the film fraternity not to be afraid to go hungry, to do it alone if necessary and also to fight for truth alone if it is essential, for a cinema that would speak truth.

Adoor Gopalkrishnan, India’s veteran filmmaker who is the head of the international jury, expressed sigh of relief that IFFI is finally been pulled out of the clutches of bureaucracy and a person who knows films has been made the director of permanent IFFI secretariat.

The practice otherwise all these years was to appoint any bureaucrat as the director of IFFI, under the Directorate of Film Festivals, and organize the festival as an annual formality.

India’s prestigious and official international film fest has now a permanent structure called IFFI Secretariat with a full-time director Shankar Mohan.

The initiative taken in this regard by Ms Soni by forming a steering committee of committed filmmakers has borne fruits.

“You can see and feel the change”, she said in her introductory remark at the festival.

Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat was also seen happy that IFFI inaugural has been held in his own constituency of Margao, the cultural capital of Goa.

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