Thursday, October 8, 2009

International RTI Film Festival begins

With a documentary highlighting the success stories of Bulgarian journalists in unmasking corruption using the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the International RTI Film Festival (IRFF) started in the capital Wednesday 7th Oct 2009.

The five-day festival, organised by a group of NGOs and civil society groups, was inaugurated by the Central Information Commission (CIC) chief Wajahat Habibullah.

'RTI Act has acted as a tool for silent revolution and it is for all human kind. It is still budding and I hope it will further bloom in the future. People have now started realising the importance and usefulness of this act,' said Habibullah after the inauguration here.

The CIC chief added that he hoped that the festival will spread the message of RTI among people. He suggested that similar kinds of programmes be organised across India and in neighbouring countries.

The first film to be screened was on the experiences of Bulgarian journalists who used the right of access to information to dig out stories exposing corruption. The film focused on the use of access to information act as a successful tool of journalists for obtaining government held information of public interest which would increase transparency and strengthen an open and accountable government.


The film was followed by a panel discussion on how journalists are using RTI in India.


IRFF received over 40 entries from countries like Bulgaria, North Korea, South Africa, Bangladesh, Switzerland and India. Of those, 11 films would be screened during the five-day event.


The films were selected by a screening committee comprising among others of Wajahat Habibullah and Magsaysay award winner RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal.


'RTI and media has a close relationship but still there is a lot which can be done. Journalists in India need to use RTI more for digging out information for exposing corruption through their stories,' said journalist turned RTI activist Manish Sisodia of Kabir NGO, which is one of the organisers of the event.


Source:http://www.bombaynews.net/story/551696


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