After IFFI row over film names, Sujoy Ghosh quits as jury chief

Sanal Sasidharam

Sanal Sasidharam

Earlier in the day, the Ministry had pulled out Malayalam movie "S Durga" and Marathi film "Nude" from the film festival to be held in Goa from November 20-28. On November 9th, the I&B Ministry announced the official list of "feature" and "non-feature" films for the Indian Panorama section of IFFI which did not feature S Durga and Nude. According to reports the jury members of IFFI were not aware of this decision as well. "When Ministry tasked with defending freedom of speech and expression becomes it's slayer, it is time for the creative community to revolt against this crude censorship".

On the day filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh resigned as Indian Panorama jury chairman of the 48th International Film Festival of India 2017 (IFFI), in protest against the dropping of two films - Nude and S Durga - by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry from the original line-up, the government finally broke its long silence and clarified that "due process" was followed.

The films in question, "Sexy Durga" and "Nude", were cleared by the festival jury led by filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh. "I am very happy and curious to see the reaction of the audience because this is the first time the film will be presented to the people of India", Majidi said.

It was nominated for the Best Film Award at the 61st BFI London Film Festival in October, where it had its world premiere. "Sumitra Bhave's film Kaasav, which won the Golden Lotus, was supposed to be screened at IFFI".

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Rajesh Kumar Singh, a member of the preview committee that selects entries from the Indian Panorama section for the worldwide competition at IFFI, took up the issue of the two films on Twitter.

Editor-scriptwriter Apurva Asrani has also stepped down as a jury member. In any case, film screenings at festivals like the IFFI are different from box-office releases. We've had a responsibility towards some very honest fi lms, and somewhere we have failed them. The jury at IFFI was so qualified that I was sure that this would be the ideal platform to launch the film.

Both the films deal with different subjects. "I respect Sujoy's decision as chairperson, his actions speak volumes, more than words can say". Forget me, they did not even inform the jury about the fact that they had dropped the film! "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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