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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Mike Pandey

Dubious choices trouble a member of the jury of the 44th National Film Awards

Mike Pandey
Mike Pandey
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
You said the national film awards were rigged.
I did not make any such statement. Vijaya Mulay and I sent a letter to the I&B minister and asked for some changes. The protest is about the unbalanced structure of selection.

Why didn't you protest when the process was on?
The process has been going on for a long time. We thought we'd look at the rules again before commenting.

If you disagreed with how the jury selected the films, why didn't you resign?
The films which did not fit the relevant category did not ultimately win any awards. We also feel that jury members should give enough reasons for nominating a film.

What are your specific objections?
We have suggested that the category of popular and wholesome entertainment should be removed. This category carries the highest cash award barring the Best National Film. Cash receipts at the box office should not be taken into consideration.

You have accused some members of making financial gains.
We did not say that. Neither Mrs Mulay nor I said that. We were misquoted.

You want an overhaul of the awards selection exercise. Exactly how?
Bureaucrats and politicians should stay out of the jury selection process.

What should the government do to ensure the jury has better members?
It should stay out of it and leave it to the Directorate of Film Festivals. They are experts in the field. Judging a film is not an easy job and all sorts of lobbies get activated.

Does this mean you will not be part of a jury again?
As per rules, a member can't be repeated before two years. We have recommended that a jury member should not be repeated before five years.

Some people have questioned your credentials.
I've been a jury member and my documentary Last Migration...
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