Ban on short films: government to implead in High Court case

The state government will implead in the High Court case filed by the makers of the short films that were banned at the 10th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK).

Published: 17th June 2017 04:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th June 2017 04:42 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan speaks to Cultural Affairs Minister A K Balan during the inaugural ceremony of the 10th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. Kerala State Chalachitra Academy

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government will implead in the High Court case filed by the makers of the short films that were banned at the 10th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK). 

Cultural Affairs Minister A K Balan, making the announcement at the inaugural of the five-day festival here on Friday, said the plea, on behalf of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, will be filed on Saturday. 

Curtains rose on the IDSFFK with the delegates registering their stiff protest against the I&B Ministry’s decision to not grant permission to screen three short films: ‘March March March,’ dealing with the JNU protests; ‘Unbearable Being of Lightness’ on Rohit Vemula and ‘In the Shade of Fallen Chinar’ set against the backdrop of the Kashmir issue. 


Fest dedicated to stifled filmmakers: CM
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who  inaugurated the festival, said voices of dissent which question popular narratives will continue to find their space at the festival. “I wish to tell the makers of those films that this is not the end of the road for you. You can reach a far wider audience with the help of technology. I’m sure some of you would have already given it a thought. The IDSFFK is dedicated to film makers such as you whose voices are stifled but will never remain unheard,” Pinarayi said.

The government was committed to ensuring that film field was a “fair place for all, particularly women.” Referring to the three-member committee assigned by the government to study the problems of women in the industry, he said,  socio-cultural spaces should be equally accessible to all and provide equal treatment to all. 

Former NASSCOM chief Kiran Karnik was guest of honour. Festival artistic director Beena Paul said a memorandum would be submitted to Union I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday asking him to lift the ban on the three films. 

Chalachitra Academy chairman Kamal and Cultural Affairs secretary Rani George were among those present. The inaugural films, ‘Sakhisona’ directed by Pranthik Basu and ‘Life Animated’ directed by Roger Ross Williams were screened after the function. 

Kiran airs concern over suppressing art
The trend of suppressing the purpose of art, culture and literature to raise questions in people’s minds and make them think has accelerated in India, former NASSCOM head Kiran Karnik said here on Friday. Guest of honour at the inaugural of the 10th IDSFFK, he said it was sad that IDSFFK was denied permission to screen the three short films.

But the ‘silver lining,’ he said, was that a lot more people would now see these films, and there would be a lot more discussion and debate, because of the ban. “It is indeed sad to see that the very purpose of art and culture and literature to raise questions in people’s minds and make them think is being suppressed,” he said. “This is certainly a phenomenon that is troubling us. It’s more visible for some years now in India,” he said. He also urged the state government to institute fellowships to encourage documentary and short-film makers.

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