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Majidi's Film to Open India Festival

15 November 2017

A few days ago, it was reported the I&B Ministry got two films, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's Sexy Durga (which was re-titled S Durga so it could play at the Mumbai Film Festival) and Ravi Jadhav's Nude, dropped from the selection of the International Film Festival of India, slated to take place in Panjim from November 20. Ravi finds himself absolutely baffled at the turn of events, especially since no one had even informed him about the fact that his film is being dropped. My conscience won't allow me to participate in the festivities in Goa. Somebody from the ministry is intruding and removing some films without knowledge of the jury. I wish all the other films good luck.

Director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan expressed his anger and said that he is planning to approach court "They are supposed to publish the list two-three weeks before the festival begins, but they delayed it on goal". There's only a week left till the festival and it will be hard for us to go to the court now.

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Rajesh Kumar Singh, a member of the preview committee that selects entries from the Indian Panorama section for the worldwide competition at IFFI, took up the issue of the two films on Twitter. "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". "How could we give it certificate at this stage?" a senior official added. "However, the important thing is that 19 other films have also been chosen whose filmmakers have worked extremely hard to tell some very relevant stories and we need to champion these films along with the films that have been so unfairly left out", he asserted. Meanwhile speaking to Mirror on condition of anonymity, a jury member said that till late on Tuesday, the ministry had not reacted to either Sujoy and Asrani's resignations. "Sumitra Bhave's film Kaasav, which won the Golden Lotus, was supposed to be screened at IFFI". The Panorama jury has the mandate and autonomy to pick films that are worthy of an IFFI screening. I think there must be a protocol to inform the jury chairman of the decision.

He said he wanted the ministry to implement the jury's decision and include films in the final list. "An opportunity to be heard had to be given to me", he said.

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Both the directors suspect that their films have been dropped from the Panorama because of the I&B officialdom's squeamishness about the titles.

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Majidi's Film to Open India Festival