Removal of S Durga from IFFK: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan to move court

15 November, 2017, 06:24 | Author: Benny Bass
  • Film festival foibles

Sujoy Ghosh has stepped down from the panel of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) amid claims of the ministry dropping two films without consulting the jury.

Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh on 14 November 2017 resigned as Head of the jury of the Indian Panorama of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IIFI). "I wept when I saw it". "However, the important thing is that 19 other films have also been chosen whose filmmakers have worked extremely hard to tell some very relevant stories and we need to champion these films along with the films that have been so unfairly left out", he asserted.

In a detailed Facebook post, Sasidharan said, "It is a shame that no one from the Kerala film fraternity or any film activists or any Malayalam media makes any comment against the arbitrary removal of two films from the list of Indian Panorama by the I and B ministry. Nobody informed me about the decision".

Sources close to the ministry has stated that it had problems with film S Durga as it could hurt the religious sentiments of people. It is quite surprising and disappointing that the movies were removed. Kumar had renamed his much-acclaimed film as S Durga - the lead character is called Durga - after the censors objected to the original title, Sexy Durga. The case was heard today and the court has sought an explanation from the government on Thursday.

"The resignation of Sujoy Ghosh, the jury chairman, is a bold and courageous act", said Sasidharan, who has mentioned in his petition that "the decision of jury is final and binding as per Panorama Regulations". "If they had any problem with the censorship of the film they should have asked me".

I and B ministry sources tell India Today that it is the final word on IFFI screenings, since this is "restricted viewing for delegates", and not for public viewing that it can not dictate.

The list has 26 feature films and 16 non-feature films for the Indian Panorama section of IFFI.

Meanwhile, some of the jury members wanted to know what took the government so long to respond on the non-inclusion of the films despite requests from several quarters. It is a celebration of the art of cinema and as such there should be absolute freedom. He added that there is a likelihood of the ministry arguing that it was rejected because it was not a technically complete film. "If they override what jury does, their position becomes untenable". One can now only wait and watch how the fallout will affect the festival.

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