Ahead of the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in November last week, the event has found itself to be in the midst of controversies. An uproar has started after the removal of two movies from the final list of screening, and now stepping down of director Sujaoy Ghosh as the jury of the film festival has left eyeballs rolling.
According to The Indian Express, Sujoy Ghosh, who has directed the Bollywood hit Kahaani, has resigned from the jury panel at this IFFI. The director, however, has refused to comment on the issue. The furore before this year’s IFFI started dropped two regional movies from the final list after announcing the list of feature and non-feature films for the Indian Panorama section on November 9. The two films were Sanal Sasidharan’s Malayalam movie S Durga and Ravi Jadhav’s Marathi film Nude. Instead of Nude, the Hindi movie Pihu by Vinod Kapri was finalised as the opening film. And this led the jury to oppose the decision as it was made without consulting them. As per PTI report, a jury member termed the ministry’s decision “unprecedented”. “The jury’s recommendations are final and cannot be changed without consulting them. But the ministry has gone ahead and dropped the two films on its own,” he was quoted by PTI. However, the ministry did not respond to the reports.
As per IE, Apurva Asrani, one of the jury members, had tweeted: “Sexy Durga&Nude are among the best of contemporary cinema. They both present a powerful and empathetic portrait of women of today’s India.” Sasidharan and Jadhav expressed shock over the alleged removal of their movies from the final list. “Give me some reason at least. It was selected as the opening film. It was a big honour. I am really disappointed and shocked to hear that it has been dropped. Nobody informed me about the decision,” Jadhav told PTI. Sasidharan has also sent an email to the ministry asking for the reasons behind the removal of the film and has decided to move court. “They are supposed to publish the list two-three weeks before the festival begins but they delayed it on purpose. It was a clever move. There’s only a week left until the festival and it will be difficult for us to go to the court now. But I will file a case in the Kochi High Court,” Sasidharan said. IFFI’s 48th edition has 26 feature films in the final list selected for the Panorama, which includes five mainstream films, and was prepared by the jury after previewing 153 eligible entries. The Panorama will also screen 16 non-feature films.