FTII Students Protest Inside Campus Over Screening of Controversial Film

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A major uproar occurred at the Film Television Institute of India (FTII) on Saturday as students staged a protest within the college premises against the screening of the film ‘The Kerala Story’. The screening, organized by the film society MITEE, had obtained permission to rent out the Main Theatre space from FTII. However, the student body claimed that they were kept in the dark about the screening plan, leading to their dissatisfaction and subsequent demonstration.

Adding to the tension, Chandrakant Patil, the Guardian Minister of Pune and a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was expected to be the guest at the screening but did not attend. The absence of the minister further fueled the students’ discontent. The protest escalated as students took to the streets outside the theatre, resulting in minor clashes between two opposing groups within the campus. In anticipation of potential student protests, the Pune City Police had already deployed officials to the FTII campus. The students, represented by the FTII Students Association (FTIISA), expressed their strong objection to the film’s content and its potential negative impact on society.

They released a statement asserting that the institute’s Main Theater, which serves as a crucial learning and growth space for them, was not an appropriate venue for such a film celebration. They emphasized their concerns about the film’s propaganda and the harm they believe it could inflict on society if left unaddressed. It is worth noting that several students have been engaged in a hunger strike within the campus to protest the expulsion of a 2020 batch student by the college administration. The situation took a turn for the worse when one of the protesting students’ health deteriorated on Friday, leading to their admission to the hospital. The tense atmosphere at FTII raises questions about the communication between the college administration, film society, and the student body. It remains to be seen how the authorities will address the students’ concerns and restore a peaceful environment on campus.

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