After IFFI row over film names, Sujoy Ghosh quits as jury chief


Festival screenings attract audiences of committed cinema-watchers and offer space for experimental and independent films, like Nude and S Durga, whose aesthetics may not have a wider appeal. The director confirmed the news to Indian express but didn't elaborate the reason behind this decision. Somebody from the ministry is intruding and removing some films without knowledge of the jury. Meanwhile speaking to Mirror on condition of anonymity, a jury member said that till late on Tuesday, the ministry had not reacted to either Sujoy and Asrani's resignations. Her colleague in the jury, actor-filmmaker Satarupa Sanyal, said the chairman should have been informed about the decision to drop the two films.

According to reports, two movies recommended by the Jury- "Sexy Durga" and "Nude" under the Panorama section, were dropped from the final list approved by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

Not only does this step attack freedom of expression, it also violates Clause 8.5 of the Indian Panorama 2017 Regulation, which clearly states that "the decision of the juries shall be final and binding and no appeal or correspondence regarding their decision shall be entertained".

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Marathi film Nude which explores the chaotic life of a nude model at an art school has now been replaced by Vinod Kapri's "Pihu" as the opening film. The jury had nominated Nude as the opening film, where Sujoy had termed it as a strong feminist film. "Durga is principal Hindu goddess and the filmmaker may seek normal certification of the film from CBFC", it was pointed out.It is important to note that Regional Officer, Thiruvanthapuram, who examined the uncensored version found it violating Guideline 6 of the CBFC, i.e. provocative and disrespectful of certain faith and religion. "I am really disappointed and shocked to hear that it has been dropped", he said. "I don't want to take away from the merit of the other films that we select and that are being shown". The ministry's role in the conduct of the IFFI certainly does not include deciding on the films to be screened.

This is the attitude which has prevented India making a bigger splash in worldwide film festivals.

Indian Oscar victor and composer A. R. Rahman and filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, who collaborated with Majidi for the film, are expected to be present for the screening.