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Malayalam film community reacts to dropping of Sanal Kumar Sasidaran's 'Sexy Durga', Marathi film 'Nude' from IFFI

Aashiq Abu, Rajeev Ravi, Lijo Pallissery, Dileesh Pothan, Geethu Mohandas, Rima Kallingal, Soubin Shahir, Vidhu Vincent, Syam Pushkaran and several others released a joint statement on Thursday.

Published: 17th November 2017 12:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2017 12:33 AM   |  A+A-

A still from Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's 'Sexy Durga'.

By Online Desk

Leading names from the Malayalam film fraternity today came out with a statement condemning the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry's removal of Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's film 'Sexy Durga' from the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

Aashiq Abu, Rajeev Ravi, Lijo Pallissery, Dileesh Pothan, Geethu Mohandas, Rima Kallingal, Soubin Shahir, Vidhu Vincent, Syam Pushkaran and several others released a joint statement on Thursday, which was shared by filmmaker Aashiq Abu on his Facebook page.

The ministry decided to take off Malayalam film 'Sexy Durga' (which will release in theatres as ‘S Durga’) and National-Award winning filmmaker Rajiv Jadhav's Marathi film 'Nude' from the list of films to be screened at the festival that begins on November 20. The 13-member independent film jury, led by 'Kahaani' director Sujoy Ghosh, had reportedly included both the movies ‘Sexy Durga’ and ‘Nude’ in their recommended list, but they did not find their way in the list passed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

"We oppose the one-sided, fascist decision of the I&B ministry to remove the films - Sanal Kumar Sasidaran directed 'Sexy Durga', Ravi Jadav's 'Nude' - from the Panorama selection", reads the statement in Malayalam.  

Commenting on IFFI jury chief Sujoy Ghosh's resignation, it said: "It was a jury headed by internationally acclaimed director Sujoy Ghosh, that selected the two movies for the Panorama section of the festival, thereby making these two films the country's representation at the festival. Now the central government has sabotaged this,"

It further said: "It is not just about the fact that the two films that were struck down have been discussed at the international level, which were supposed to become the pride of India cinema; but more than that, the central government has adopted an autocratic stand point by questioning the selections, views and decisions of an independent, impartial jury which is supposed to select films for the festival. We condemn this decision of the government.

Sanal had himself questioned the silence from the Malayalam film industry in his Facebook post. He had even approached the Kerala High Court over the removal of his film from the festival.

"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&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?" Sanal had said in a Facebook post.   

Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh earlier this week had resigned as head of the jury of the Indian Panorama of the 48th International Film Festival of India, protesting over the move.

Reacting to the decision taken by the Government of India to ban those movies, veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal backed Ghosh and said that the government should not support those people, who do not want the film to be shown. Instead, they should support those who want to show the film.

Meanwhile, former FTII controversial chairman Gajendra Chauhan congratulated the Government and the I&B ministry for the decision and shared that no wrong movie should go to the mass

Chauhan said, “It is on Ghosh if he wants to continue on the post or not. But I want to congratulate the Government of India, the Ministry of I&B for taking such a step. Their view is very clear that no wrong film, no film that is objectionable to the ministry, should go to the festival and the mass.”

Read the full statement here:

"We oppose the one-sided, fascist decision of the I&B ministry to remove the films - Sanal Kumar Sasidaran directed 'Sexy Durga', Ravi Jadav's 'Nude' - from the Panorama selection. Because of this, the screenings of these films in the 48th International Film Festival has been revoked. These films were selected by internationally acclaimed director Sujoy Ghosh who headed the jury, thereby, thereby making these two films the country's representation at the festival. Now the central government has sabotaged this.

This decision has been overruled by the Centre. The jury chairman has resigned protesting against this decision as the jury was insulted. It is not just that the two films which have been discussed at the international level, which were supposed to become the pride of India cinema, that have been struck down; but more than that, the central government has adopted an autocratic stand point by questioning the selections, views and decisions of an independent, impartial jury which is supposed to select films for the festival. We condemn this decision of the government."



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