IFFI jury members write to Smriti over ‘S Durga’, ‘Nude’ row


Team Udayavani, Nov 20, 2017, 9:24 AM IST

Mumbai: Six members of the 13-member jury of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) have written a letter to Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, raising concern over the exclusion of two films – S Durga and Nude – from the Indian Panorama section of the event in Goa.

The IFFI, which opens on Monday, had last week dropped Malayalam film S Durga, directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, and Marathi movie Nude, helmed by Ravi Jadhav, from the segment of the 48th edition of the festival.

The jury members expressed distress over the removal of the films “without any intimation, discussion or recourse to the jury which has the final say according to the Indian Panorama Regulations”. They said the move resulted in the resignation of three jury members, including chairman Sujoy Ghosh.

The letter has been signed by six members – Satarupa Sanyal, Sachin Chatte, Suresh Heblikar, Hari Vishwanath, Ruchi Narain and Gopi Desai. “All our written correspondence to DFF and NDFC in the matter went unheeded and there was no response or acknowledgment of the same,” it said.

The members asserted that finding a solution to the issue at hand was necessary as the debate has more “far-reaching implications for the sanctity of the system put into place after years of work by the ministry”. The letter defended the movies, saying they are relevant in terms of a larger conversation on gender and women empowerment.

Last week, the ministry overruled the recommendation of the IFFI jury and pulled out the two films. According to sources, the ministry objected as the film that was supposed to be screened at IFFI was Sexy Durga and not S Durga, the version cleared by the censor board. Sources said that Nude could not make the cut as the submission was “technically incomplete”.

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