Soon after filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh stepped down as the jury chief of International Film Festival of India 2017 (IFFI) after Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s decision to pull-out Nude and S Durga from the original line-up, two more jury members have quit. According to reports, Gyan Correa and Apurva Asrani also stepped down as the jury members to protest the decision to pull out the two movies—S Durga and Nude. I&B’s decision to rule out both the films has sparked a major controversy as one of the filmmakers has moved to high court on Monday challenging the Centre’s decision.
The 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) is to be held in Goa from November 20 to 28. “I stand with the chairman of the jury. We had a responsibility towards some very sincere films, and somewhere we have failed. My conscience won’t allow me to participate in the festivities in Goa. However, I wish all the other films good luck. Each one has been made with a lot of love and no controversy should take away from that,” Asrani told a leading daily.
S Durga director Sanan Kumar Sasidharan filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court challenging the decision of the ministry. Several jury members expressed their displeasure over the ministry’s move to drop the films from the list they submitted, calling it “disappointing and sad”. The jury submitted its list to the ministry on September 20-21, but the line-up was made public only recently and without the name of the two films.
S Durga is a Malayalam movie, which has been written and helmed by Sanal Sasidharan. The film exposes the reality of a misogynistic society and captures various encounters of a couple running away in the night. The movie recently received a U/A certificate from the censor board. It was earlier titled Sexy Durga, which was changed after censor board raised an objection. The makers of the movie were also forced to have 21 audio mutes by the board. The movie has already been screened at some international film festivals and has also won a few awards while Nude is a Marathi film, which has been written and directed by Ravi Jadhav. The movie explores the life and conflicts of a nude model at an art school. It was finalised as the opening film by the 13-member jury panel, but I&B Ministry has replaced it with Vinod Kapri’s Hindi movie Pihu.