Another film has been dropped from IFFI 2017 and this time it’s a film from Pakistan. Saawan was Pakistan’s official submission for the best foreign language film at the 90th Academy Awards this year and was to be featured in the Cinema of the World section at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. The film, however, doesn’t figure in the final programming anymore.
Saawan director Farhan Alam received an official letter from the Festival director Sunit Tandon on October 26 which stated that the festival was honoured to present the film in the Cinema of the world section. However, later, in an e-mail dated November 4, 2017, from senior programmer Deepika Suseelan, Alam was informed that the film could not be accommodated. The e-mail stated that due to “scheduling constraints” they were unable to showcase some of the titles originally planned.
“I was excited to take part in the festival and share my film with an Indian audience. It would have been an honour for me to share my work and I was hoping to meet filmmakers from India as well as around the world,” said Alam to a news daily. “It was very disappointing and heartbreaking for me to hear this news as I was looking forward to attend this festival,” he added.
Apart from IFFI, Saawan has also been submitted for All Lights India Film Festival, which is to be held in Hyderabad from December 1-4. After the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil fiasco in 2016, Pakistani actors are a strict no-no in the film industry. How Saawan made it thus far at IFFI 2017 is rather surprising. Last year the MAMI film festival was also forced to drop Pakistani film Jago Hua Savera from the Restored Classics Section of the festival. Frankly, we aren’t too optimistic about its chances in Hyderabad either.