Thiruvananthapuram: Controversial Malayalam film "S Durga" will be screened at the forthcoming International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) only if it gets due clearance, state minister for culture and cinema A K Balan said here on Wednesday.
"S Durga" was not screened at the the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa despite the movie's director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's best efforts.
Sasidharan had moved the Kerala High Court, which directed IFFI to screen the film at the festival after a censored version was screened for the jury. But fresh title-related issues raised by the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) on the gala's last day had sealed the fate of the movie at the fest.
Sanal, along with the film's producer Shaji Mathew, have moved the Kerala High Court challenging the suspension of the certification of the movie by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
In their petition, producer and director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan said they were "deeply aggrieved with the illegal, arbitrary, high-handed and malafide manner" in which the CBFC certification of film was suspended on November 28.
They submitted that the order was issued without power and jurisdiction and without hearing the petitioners resulting in glaring breach of the principles of natural justice.
The petitioners alleged that the suspension order was passed solely with malicious intention of thwarting the exhibition of the film in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held at Goa.
The Censor Board on November 28 had ordered a re- examination of the controversial film, derailing its court-ordered screening at the IFFI.
Earlier, Balan told the media here: "What we hear is that director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan is going to approach the court again since the censorship certificate has been withdrawn. We will certainly screen the film here if he gets a clearance from the court. If not, it may not happen."
Balan said that at this edition of the IFFK, 190 films from 65 countries would be screened, of which 40 of them will have their premiere here.
"Following the cyclone Ockhi disaster, we have decided to cancel the cultural extravaganza that is generally associated with the IFFK. Even the inauguration has been cancelled and there will be only screening of these films. With regard to the closing ceremony, no decision has been taken," said Balan.
He said that as per the present directive, the national anthem will be played at the start and end of screenings.
"If there is any violation when it's played, appropriate action would be there," said Balan.
The jury of the IFFK includes ace director Marco Muller, who will be the chairman. Others on the jury include Malayalam director T.V. Chandran, Columbian actor Marlon Moreno, film editor Mary Stephen and film curator Aboubacker Sanago.
In all 12,000 passes have been issued for the fest.