March 23, 2018

'S Durga' director moves HC against exclusion from IFFI

15 November 2017, 06:20 | Winston Chapman

S Durga reveals the society’s patriarchal mindset

S Durga reveals the society’s patriarchal mindset

In a bid to register his protest against governmental interference, filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh (Kahaani) has resigned from his post of jury chairperson. Earlier titled as Sexy Durga, the title was changed by CBFC and given a permission to be screened as MAMI earlier this year. We've had a responsibility towards some very honest films, and somewhere we have failed them.

The national award-winning director also said that it is hard to accept that a selected film is removed from the festival without any explanation, "My film was chosen for this, you can't take away my right".

Adding, "So jury or its chairman will have to resign". I will keep trying my luck with other film festivals.

On Monday, jury-head, filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh stepped down from his post after the Ministry dropped the two films without consulting any member of the 13-member panel. My conscience won't allow me to participate in the festivities in Goa.

He said the ministry "has not understood the context and setting of the film".

"I have filed a writ petition before the Hon'ble High Court of Kerala against this unprecedented, illogical and unconstitutional action taken by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting", Sasidharan wrote in his Facebook page. "Each one has been made with a lot of love". "Right now, the controversy is around Nude and S Durga but there are other good films that need to be watched and lauded so I don't wish to officially disassociate myself from the Panorama".

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Directors of both films expressed disappointment at the Ministry's arbitrary decision.

In case of Nude, the ministry stated that the film was technically complete and hence it was replaced.

Talking to PTI, Ghosh confirmed that his decision came in the wake of Sexy Durga and Nude being pulled out from the selection.

Meanwhile speaking to Mirror on condition of anonymity, a jury member said that till late on Tuesday, the ministry had not reacted to either Sujoy and Asrani's resignations. The Panorama jury has the mandate and autonomy to pick films that are worthy of an IFFI screening.

Not only does this step attack freedom of expression, it also violates Clause 8.5 of the Indian Panorama 2017 Regulation, which clearly states that "the decision of the juries shall be final and binding and no appeal or correspondence regarding their decision shall be entertained".

The films had been selected by a 13 member jury and the Ministry allegedly did not consult anyone before dropping the films. The jury at IFFI was so qualified that I was sure that this would be the flawless platform to launch the film.

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