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Anurag Kashyap steps down as board member of MAMI 'in light of current events' 


The filmmaker and former head of the now disbanded Phantom Films was a jury member of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images that organises the annual Mumbai Film Festival.

Our Correspondent

After being pulled up for inaction over the complaints of sexual misconduct against Vikas Bahl, his former partner at Phantom Films, Anurag Kashyap has now stepped down as board member of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) that organises the annual Mumbai Film Festival. The filmmaker has been a board member of the academy since its inception in 1997. 

Tweeting his decision, Kashyap wrote that he was stepping down from the position "in light of recent events" till the "shadow of doubt of our alleged complicitness in silence and not doing anything about it, is cleared."

Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena, partners of Phantom Films dissolved the production house last week. Later, posting an apology, the director explained the situation and his efforts to take action against Bahl after allegations of his sexual misconduct emerged in 2015. 

However, the director maintained that he was misled by his advisors, enabling Bahl to continue at Phantom Films till its dissolution. 

Writing further on Twitter, Kashyap stated, "A lot of women work with me and have been around, I am answerable to them & they stand witness to our actions & our struggle to do the right thing."

The naming of Bahl was among the early stages of what is now a full fledged #MeToo movement on the Indian social media. Several actresses, journalists, filmmakers have come out with accusations of misbehaviour they suffered during their career. 

Praising the trend, and hoping it continues, Kashyap wrote, "...look into ourselves and see how we all have been complicit in so much, with our silence, forced by fear of consequence or by choice."

Among the latest names is that of actor-lyricist-screenwriter Varun Grover, who frequently collaborated with Kashyap. They recently worked together on Netflix's web-series Sacred Games. The director had defended Grover, adding that he "#believethevictim and [will] investigate the claims."

Kashyap went on to outline his own introspections and lessons in a detailed thread. 

The Mumbai Film Festival is set to begin on 25 October. MAMI had recently cancelled its press show in which Kashyap was to speak on the opening of the festival. MAMI has also dropped All India Bakchod's (AIB) upcoming film, Chintu Ka Birthday, and Rajat Kapoor's Kadakh. AIB member Utsav Chakraborty and Rajat Kapoor have both been accused of sexual misconduct by various women.

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Sexual harassment