Mumbai: Director Rahul Rawail has been appointed the head of a jury for the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which took off in Goa today amid a controversy sparked by the dropping of two films.
Last week, Sujoy Ghosh resigned as jury head of the Indian Panorama Section of the Goa film festival, protesting what was reportedly the Information and Broadcasting Ministry's decision to drop two films which were picked by the jury to be screened at the film festival. The ministry has not responded to the controversy.
Malayalam movie "S Durga" and Marathi film "Nude" were reportedly chosen by the 13-member jury to open the festival. But the names did not make it to the final list released by the ministry. The directors said they had not been informed that their films were being pulled out.
Mr Rawail is attending the inaugural session of the film festival. Asked about his appointment, Mr Rawail confirmed it, but refused to go into details. "I have taken on this job at the IFFI's request after someone else chose to relinquish the responsibility," he told news agency IANS. "I am the acting jury head, and I'm honoured to be doing the job, because this is a platform where the world looks at us and the best films must be selected."
After Mr Ghosh resigned, two other jury members -- screen writer Apurva Asrani and filmmaker Gyan Correa -- followed suit. Mr Ghosh had questioned the timing of the ministry's decision as he said would challenge the decision in court, but wondered if he could do so quickly enough.
Sanal Kumar Sasodharan, the director of "S Durga", has appealed in the Kerala High Court against the ministry's decision.