I&B Ministry is doing unconstitutional, unprecedented thing: Sasidharan, director of S Durga

Sujoy Ghosh

Sujoy Ghosh

He wrote, "Sexy Durga & Nude are among the best of contemporary cinema". The Kahaani director gave a confirmation to The Indian Express but refrained from commenting on the development. He refuted it saying, "I sent a screener to the Directorate of the film festival three months ago and we were ready with a DCP of the complete film but no one asked for it". But the I and B ministry removed the two films from the final selection of 26 films that will be screened as part of the "India Panorama" section at the festival.

Scriptwriter Apurva Asrani, a jury member, has praised the films for presenting "a powerful & empathetic portrait of women in todays India".

He said he is in shock and has not received any letter from the ministry about why "S Durga" did not make the cut. "In this case the jury's decision was final and if the ministry cannot provide a satisfactory explanation, their decision can be ruled as arbitrary action". IFFI is a government film festival, Tikoo argued, adding that "only responsibility and accountability" were driving the committee that was managing the festival.

The opening film for the festival now is the Hindi film "Pihu" by Vinod Kapry. "Nobody informed me about the decision". "Durga is principal Hindu goddess and the filmmaker may seek normal certification of the film from CBFC", it was pointed out.It is important to note that Regional Officer, Thiruvanthapuram, who examined the uncensored version found it violating Guideline 6 of the CBFC, i.e. provocative and disrespectful of certain faith and religion. And the film Nude explores the life and conflicts of a nude model at an art school.

"It's something we've never heard of", he said.

According to the petition, the ministry "arbitrarily vetoed the decision of the jury without any authority of law, and excluded the petitioner's film from the Indian Panorama section, without notice to the petitioner, and also without assigning any reason". "I don't want to take away from the merit of the other films that we select and that are being shown".

'Beyond the Clouds, ' a drama written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi, will open the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. "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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