India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry has terminated Nina Lath Gupta’s tenure as MD of the National Film and Television Development Corporation with immediate effect, according to Indian media reports.
The reasons for her termination appear to be different according to different reports. Some suggest that she exceeded her budget for buying advertisements on private television channels. Others say that the NFDC charged high commissions to manage government initiated events. Others allege that the NFDC failed to use allocated funds for film restoration, while others cited procedural anomalies in co-producing films.
Another school of thought is that the government was not happy with the way the NFDC conducted the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa when handed sole responsibility of it in late 2017.
The NFDC was entrusted with running the IFFI, but in practice the body’s role was ceremonial. Smaller organizations ran the show, and a public relations disaster followed when selected films “Nude” and “S Durga” were dropped on flimsy grounds.
Gupta was appointed in 2006. In 2007 she launched Film Bazaar, which grew to become South Asia’s biggest film co-production market. It spawned titles including “The Lunchbox,” “Beyond the Known World,” and “Tasher Desh.”
Kanu Behl, director of 2014 Cannes selection “Titli” wrote on his social media pages: “Nina Lath Gupta is the single most dedicated, courageous, visionary person to have headed NFDC in the last two decades. ‘Titli’ would not have been the film that it is without being at the Screenwriter’s Lab – CoProduction market – Edit Lab work-wheel, all of which bore fruit under her leadership. It is sad that all our institutions are slowly and carefully getting dismantled and that we are choosing to be disinterested bystanders. Welcome to the new dystopia.”
Gupta did not respond to a request for comment. There is no official statement from the I&B ministry on her termination and the NFDC website still lists her as managing director.