Mumbai International Film Festival Censors Indian Citizens

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Date: 2003

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video

Artist: Indian documentary filmmakers seeking to exhibit at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF).

Confronting Bodies: The Films Division of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, for the government of India.

Date of Action: September 2003

Location: Mumbai India.

Description of Artwork: The MIFF is an international film festival which will be in it's eighth year of existence in 2004. The festival is a forum to promote the best work in a documentary format, with entries from across the world.

The Incident: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting of India introduced a clause into the festival rules mandating Indian documentaries be pre-screened and, if necessary censored by the Ministry before their acceptance into the festival.

Results of Incident: Presently, (September 21, 2003) a petition is being circulated globally that supports a boycott a MIFF that requires governmental scrutiny and censorship prior to entry of Indian or any other national's entry. The initiative is entitled the "Campaign Against Censorship at MIFF 2004." These efforts come on the heels of six weeks of political action attempting to have the government rescind their mandate of censoring Indian filmmakers.

Source: Email circulation from Jeebesh Bagchi.