The 47th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has decided to not screen any Pakistani films this year.
After the controversy surrounding the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan and was released on the day of Diwali, the festival organisers seem to have decided to steer clear of any further controversy.
However, at a press conference on Tuesday, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Deputy Chief Minister of Goa Francis D'souza and the Director of Film Festivals Senthil Rajan said that the reason for not screening any Pakistani films at the festival was "competition".
According to IANS, Rathore said:
"We had received two entries from Pakistan, but our film committee felt those films were not up to the mark... I don't know the name of the two films that were sent, but they were not shortlisted."
Last year, Pakistani filmmaker Jamshed Mahmood's film, Moor, was screened at the festival.
Airing of Pakistani channels on television in India and the hiring of Pakistani artists in Indian films has become a major source of controversy between the two neighbours.
The controversy arose after 19 Indian army-men were killed in September in a sneak attack in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based militants. In the aftermath of the attacks, political outfits such as the Mumbai-based Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had demanded a ban on Pakistani artists working in Indian films.
Their demands were backed by the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA), which passed a resolution banning all artists from across the border from working in India.
IFFI 2016 will be held from 20-28 November in Goa.
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