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Last Updated Tuesday November 14 2017 11:32 PM IST

Protest against Center gains steam as IFFI jury chief quits, S Durga director moves HC

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Protest against Center gains steam as IFFI jury chief quits, S Durga director moves HC Sujoy Ghosh says he quit over I&B ministry's decision which Sanalkumar has challenged in Kerala High Court.

Mumbai: The protest against the central government over its decision to drop two films from the Indian panorama section of the upcoming International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has gained momentum with the jury chief quitting the panel and a filmmaker moving the court.

Noted filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh quit as head of the jury of the Indian Panorama section after the I&B ministry, overruling the recommendation of the 13-member jury, dropped Malayalam film 'S Durga' (Sexy Durga) and Marathi film 'Nude' from the final selection.

The 48th edition of the film festival will be held in Goa from November 20 to 28.

Asked if he has resigned as jury head in the wake of the controversy, Ghosh told PTI, "Yes, but I can't say anything more than that right now."

Several jury members expressed their displeasure over the ministry's move to drop the films from the list they submitted. It was an unprecedented move, a jury member said on the condition of anonymity.

The jury 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, a member disclosed.

The ministry did not respond to the reports.

The directors of the two films told PTI that they were shocked and disappointed by the ministry's decision.

S Durga director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan has approached Kerala High Court after what he termed the "clever move" by the ministry.

"The writ petition filed against the removal of my film from IFFI, before the Hon'ble High Court has been taken into file and posted for the respondents reply to 16/11/17," he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

"They are supposed to publish the list two-three weeks before the festival begins but they delayed it on purpose," he said.

Plan to boycott

He said the Marathi filmmakers were planning to boycott the film festival in protest to the ministry's decision. He asked how the Malayalam film industry was going to respond to the row.

S Durga, which was earlier titled Sexy Durga, is a road movie that follows the horrifying experience of two hitchhikers, a man and a woman, at the hands of two men. It won the Hivos Tiger Award in the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017.

Nude depicts the struggle of a woman secretly working as a nude model in Mumbai.

Nude director Ravi Jadhav was equally upset. "Give me some reason at least. It was selected as the opening film. It was a big honor. I am really disappointed and shocked to hear that it has been dropped," he said.

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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