NEW DELHI: The twelfth edition of annual media cultural festival SPANDAN 2015, organised by the Vivekananda School Of Journalism & Mass Communication (VSJMC), Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, Pitampura started on 5th November, Thursday. Festival Director, Prof. Dr. Charulata Singh Dean, VSJMC welcomed all the dignitaries. The first day of the three day event was inaugurated with a panel discussion on media by eminent journalists such as Ms. Seema Mustafa, Hartosh Singh Bal, Ms. Pamela Philipose and Satish. It was followed by Cinéphile, the second edition of International Film Festival and a film appreciation workshop. The first day of Spandan, sponsored by Unity Group and HES Infra, concluded with a cultural event ‘Afshaan-ae-Tehzeeb’ comprising of Odissi Dance and Dastaan Goi.

At Media Panchayat, sponsored by independent online newspaper The Citizen, Ms. Seema Mustafa, Editor-in-Chief, The Citizen, moderated the panel discussion on the topic 'is media still the fourth pillar of democracy?’ Mr. Satish Jacob, former Editor-in-Chief, P7News, who worked under Sir William Mark Tully as the longest serving correspondent for BBC News in India expressed, “media and democracy are two sides of the same coin.” Ms. Pamela Philipose, leading columnist said, “Media should be autonomous so that it can include different perspectives and diverse views from various sources”. Mr. Hartosh Singh Bal, Political Editor, The Caravan Magazine said it is natural for good journalists to have problems with authority. He said, “One of the prerequisites of being a good journalists is integrity and secondly he should be a good storyteller”. Ms. Seema Mustafa said, “Nationalism is an empty phrase until it includes raising voice for marginalised section, minorities and against intolerance”. Answering questions of the students, she concluded the discussion by emphasising the role of the citizens and media in strengthening democracy.

Cinéphile, the annual international film festival of VIPS sponsored by SAIL, received 53 film entries including 24 international entries from 11 nations such as USA, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Egypt, Sri Lanka, among others. The first day saw the screenings of 8 films by student and professional filmmakers in non-fiction category.

An informative workshop on film appreciation by Agney Singh, director of internationally acclaimed Documentary, 'M Cream' saw the participation of 40 film enthusiasts for an enriching experience. The workshop included the screening of 6 films including 8 ½, Godard (Breathless) and 2001 Space Odyssey by Kubrick. The workshop focused on the way these films have changed the cinematic world and influenced the generation.

The day wrapped up with a mesmerizing cultural event 'Afshaan-ae-Tehzeeb'. The event hosted an Odissi dance performance by disciples of Guru Mayadhar Raut School of Odissi Dance, Jayantika Association. This visual treat continued with the traditional storytelling performance 'Dastaan Goi', directed by Mahmood Farooqui, performed by Amir and Affaan that left the audience enchanted. It was a beautiful amalgamation of Dance & Drama that chronicled understanding and appreciation of India’s cultural diversity by providing a dynamic space for expression.

The dignitaries who graced the event included Chief Guest Prof. Anup Beniwal, Dean, University School of Humanities and Social Sciences, GGSIP University and also Dean, University School of Mass Communication, Dwarka. Guest of Honour for the event is Prof. Ashok Ogra, Director of APJ School of Mass Communication, Dwarka. Prof. I. M. Pande, Director General, VIPS and Prof. Dr. Ambrish Saxena, Dean Reasearch and Publications Coordination, VIPS were also present.

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