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2-min read

IFFI 2017: Jury Verdict on S Durga Will be Handed Over to I&B Ministry, Says New Chief Rahul Rawail

Sasidharan had moved the court after the film was dropped from the Indian Panorama section of the festival along with the Marathi film Nude.

Shrishti Negi | News18.com@shrishti_03

Updated:November 28, 2017, 8:01 AM IST
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IFFI 2017: Jury Verdict on S Durga Will be Handed Over to I&B Ministry, Says New Chief Rahul Rawail
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The controversy surrounding the screening of S Durga at the 48th International Film Festival of India is getting murkier by the day. With just only a few hours to go for this year's festival to draw to a close, there is still no clarity whether or not the film will be screened at the IFFI's Indian Panorama section.

On Monday, the Sanal Sasidharan-directed film was screened for the jury members at the Kala Academy amidst heightened security following the Kerala High Court's order, which stated, “The certified version of the film S Durga will be viewed by the jury and on that basis, the film will be exhibited in the Indian Panorama of the IFFI.”

However, the screening, which was scheduled for 6pm, was suddenly preponed to 5pm. Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who is also the convenor of the preview committee of IFFI 2017, actor-director Satish Kaushik and senior journalist Sudhir Chaudhary were also reportedly added to the jury list.

Filmmaker Rahul Rawail, who is currently the acting chairperson of the jury, refused to disclose the jury's verdict with media and simply said, "Its decision will be sent to the (I&B) ministry and the ministry will hand it over to the court." He further said he would not be able to talk about it much as "the matter is sub judice".

Reacting to it, Sasidharan said, "I have no idea what's happening. The festival director is not saying anything. I talked to the jury chairman; he says that the matter is sub judice. When I said that the order is very clear, he asks me to bring him a new order."

The director added, "It is not only wrong it is a denial of constitution and judiciary. In a way, we can say that we fought well and they were exposed and all, but now a kind of fear that nothing can change them creeps in."

However, Sasidharan claimed that the jury "voted in favour of the film".

The director had moved the court after the film was dropped from the Indian Panorama section of the festival along with the Marathi film Nude.

Both films were dropped by the ministry even though they were included in the Panorama list by a 13-member jury, prompting jury chief Sujoy Ghosh and members Apurva Asrani and Gyan Correa to resign in protest

S Durga narrates the horrifying experience of a hitchhiking couple and has won critical acclaim at film festivals abroad.

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