MUMBAI: The Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI), the organizer of the Mumbai International Film Festival, has decided not to screen any Pakistani film this year.
“Given the current situation, the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival has decided not to programme Jago Hua Savera as part of the Restored Classics Section,” the organisers said in a statement.
The week-long festival, which begins on October 20, is set to screen over 180 films from 54 countries and is being chaired by filmmaker Kiran Rao, the wife of actor Amir Khan, who earlier featured in a controversy over her remarks that India had become a difficult place to live in.
Earlier in the day, Kiran Rao had said she hoped that hoping that Jago Hua Savera would be screened in the festival. She said artists are meant to bring harmony and connect people.
A Mumbai-based NGO Sangharsh had on Sunday written to the city's police commissioner to permit its activists to stage protests at the screening of the Pakistani movie made in 1958.
Directed by A J Kardar, Jago Hua Savera was screened in the Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival this year. It was co-produced in pre-1971 Pakistan and shot in Dhaka. It was selected as an entry from Pakistan for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 32nd Academy Awards in 1960.
Prithvi Mhaske of Sangharsh Foundation, Censor Board of Film Certification member Ashoke Pandit, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, and actor George Baker have welcomed the decision of MAMI not to screen the film.
“If MAMI has decided to not screen the film, we welcome the decision. They have understood the sentiments,” said Mhaske, who had filed a complaint against MAMI for scheduling the film for screening.
Pandit, who is also a member of the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA), thanked the organisers.
“Thank you #MAMI for not showcasing any #Pakistani film in this year's edition of the Mumbai Film Festival. #JagoHuaSavera,” he tweeted.