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After S Durga Dropped From IFFI, Director Sasidharan Moves Kerala HC

Sasidharan's petition said the ministry "arbitrarily vetoed" the IFFI jury's decision and dropped his film "without notice" and "without assigning any reason."

Shrishti Negi | News18.com

Updated:November 14, 2017, 6:05 PM IST
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After S Durga Dropped From IFFI, Director Sasidharan Moves Kerala HC
Image: News18 Creatives
Director Sanal Sasidharan, whose film S Durga was dropped from the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), has filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court against the Information and Broadcasting ministry and festival officials.

Sasidharan told News18 that the Directorate of Film Festivals and the Festival Director were also respondents. His lawyer Manu Sebastian said the matter will be taken up on Thursday.

S Durga was apparently recommended for the Indian Panorama section by the 13-member jury headed by Sujoy Ghosh but the Malayalam film, along with Ravi Jadhav's Nude, was left out of the final list by the Information and Broadcasting ministry on November 9. Ghosh has resigned as jury chief in protest.

Sasidharan's petition said the ministry "arbitrarily vetoed" the IFFI jury's decision and dropped his film "without notice" and "without assigning any reason."

"The decision is totally illegal and erroneous, and has caused prejudice to the petitioner. The petitioner’s film, which has won international accolades, has been deprived of opportunity of screening in the prestigious IFFI, due to arbitrariness," the petition said.

Sasidharan told News18: "The ministry is tarnishing the greatest festival of India. It’s a very sad moment not only for the film fraternity but also for all the citizens of India."

He pointed out there was no room for controversy that he had already changed the title from the provocative Sexy Durga to S Durga and also got a U/A certificate from the censor board.

"The censor board is absolutely okay with the film and they told me nothing. They have not asked me to cut a single frame from the movie. They liked it so much. They, in fact, said it is the film which should be shown to all people," he said.

The director said his mail to the I&B ministry seeking reasons for the removal of his film went unanswered.
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