The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is once again using its powers to prevent certain films from screening at film festivals.
A few days ago, it was reported the I&B Ministry got two films, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's Sexy Durga (which was re-titled S Durga so it could play at the Mumbai Film Festival) and Ravi Jadhav's Nude, dropped from the selection of the International Film Festival of India, slated to take place in Panjim from November 20.
The films were dropped despite being selected by the 13-member IFFI jury, a committee ironically formed by the Ministry itself.
In a bid to register his protest against governmental interference, filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh (Kahaani) has resigned from his post of jury chairperson.
Talking to PTI, Ghosh confirmed that his decision came in the wake of Sexy Durga and Nude being pulled out from the selection.
Directors of both films expressed disappointment at the Ministry's arbitrary decision.
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. Even some of the jury members have made public statement against this injustice. Where has gone our so called intellectuals now? Where is your slogans for the right to freedom and expression?"
Hindustan Times quoted Nude director Ravi Jadhav as saying, "Give me some reason at least. It was selected as the opening film. It was a big honour. I am really disappointed and shocked to hear that it has been dropped."
While Sexy Durga's struggle to release in India continues, the film has already received critical acclaim abroad, even winning the prestigious Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
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