Soon after Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh resigned as the head of the jury of IFFI’s Indian Panorama section over the exclusion of two films, the row escalated a tad bit more after director Sanal Sasidharan, whose film S Durga was one of the two chucked out, moved the Kerala High Court. Another jury member, Apurva Asrani, resigned saying “my conscience won’t allow me to participate in the festivities in Goa”, Indian Express reported. Sasidharan challenging the exclusion of S Durga petitioned the Kerala High Court urging it to direct the festival organisers and the ministry to include and screen his film in the festival which opens November 20.
Sasidharan called the decision by the ministry “arbitrary, illegal and unjust”. Asrani who stepped down as from his post after the row said that he stands with the chairman of the jury. ” We have had a responsibility towards some very sincere films, and somewhere we have failed them. 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 said. Other jury members like Ruchi Narain and Gopi Desai also addressed their disappointment with Information and Broadcasting ministry’s decision to pull out films with the consent of the jury members.
Overruling the recommendation of the 13-member jury, the I&B ministry pulled out Malayalam movie “S Durga” and Marathi film “Nude” from the 48th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa from November 20 to 28. The jury had 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. “I want the ministry to go by the rule and not overlook the jury’s decision. They should behave like a democracy, not a dictatorship,” Sasidharan had told PTI.