A cocktail of arts and politics can be deadly and once again it’s proving to be true. The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry allegedly removed two movies, Nude and S Durga, selected by a 13-member jury for final list of the Indian Panorama section of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The removal of the films prompted Sujoy Ghosh to step down from the post of the panel head.
Ghosh, who directed the Bollywood hit Kahaani, told The Indian Express that he has resigned as head of the jury but refused to comment on the matter.
The I&B Ministry had announced the list of ‘feature’ and ‘non-feature’ films for the Indian Panorama section of IFFI on November 9. The list dropped previously-selected movies – Ravi Jhadav’s Marathi movie Nude and Sanal Sasidharan’s Malayalm movie S Durga. Few jury members alleged that they weren’t consulted by the I&B Ministry before the exclusion of the movies and criticised the move. The ministry, however, has not responded to the allegations.
Sasidharan and Jadhav were shocked by the removal of their movies from the final list. Talking to the Indian Express, Sasidharan said he has sent an email to the ministry, inquiring about the reasons behind the “arbitrary removal of the film” and demanding the screening of the movie selected by the jury. Jadhav said he would do the same
Apurva Asrani, one of the jury members tweeted in support of the movies.
The Panorama will be screening 26 feature films that will include five mainstream films. The final list was prepared by the jury after previewing 153 eligible entries. The event will also screen 16 non-feature films.
Apart from Ghosh and Asrani, the jury for feature films in the Panorama also includes director Rahul Rawail, actor-director Gopi Desai, filmmaker Nishikant Kamat, director-writer Nikkhil Advani and director-writer Ruchi Narain.