The 48th International Film Festival of India is about to kick off in Goa soon. However, controversy has already started spinning around two films, Nude and S Durga as both the films will not be screened at the festival. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has not included the films in this year’s IFFI lineup citing various reasons. Reportedly, Nude isn’t eligible for an official entry, since, the movie is technically incomplete. S Durga, whose original title was Sexy Durga, on the other hand, was found to be culturally insensitive to certain religious sentiments. S Durga, which first sparked controversy during MAMI, has now been replaced by a children’s film, which is also an official jury selection.
Vani Tripathi Tikoo, who is an IFFI steering committee member, has defended the decision. She said, “All the films that are being screened at IFFI go through the Ministry. Approval has to be taken from the Ministry just like other festivals like MAMI and the Trivandrum Film Festival. The government has not done anything out of bound.”
She further added, “Nude was an incomplete film and so it came with a rider… it came with a rider from the jury and it came with a rider to the Ministry and this rider was exercised as it was an incomplete film and an incomplete film cannot go into the public exhibition space for a festival. As far as Sexy Durga is concerned, it did not comply with the norms of the Censor Board of the CBFC and also faced issues with approval at MAMI. How can the Ministry be hypocritical and disapprove the screening of a film at one festival but screens it at its own festival? IFFI is a government festival and we have to respect the fact that the government has to be sensitive and look at the larger picture, as far as the exhibition of content and reaction level is concerned.”
Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh and Writer Apurva Asrani quit as IFFI Indian Panorama section jury chief after I&B Ministry dropped these films.
Vani was vocal against these exits too. Addressing the drop out issue, she says, “I want to ask Mr Sujoy Ghosh that if he had such a big issue then why he is sitting outside the country mailing his resignation to the media? Why didn’t he pick up the phone on the ministry? I have been part of the Steering Committee for over the last 4 years and I can say this with confidence that the independence and the democracy of the festival have never got and will never get compromised. At the end of the day, it’s very simple… the government has used its discretion and it has used its absolute power to do so.”
Given the storm over IFFI, Tripathi vehemently defended the film festival. She told Mumbai Mirror, "This festival is about creating a dialogue between the film industry and the Government. For three years, we have fought to bring uncensored films to this festival. Eminent filmmakers are associated with it but an attempt is being made to create cracks in the process.Read More