Durga Director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan had moved court after S Durga was dropped from Goa IFFI.
Thiruvananthapuram: Malayalam movie S Durga will be screened at the ongoing International Film Festival of India in Goa, a bigger bench of the Kerala High Court has said, turning down the Central government's appeal to scrap the movie. The Centre, which scratched out the movie from the IFFI list without any notice to the directors, had appealed after the court over-ruled its decision on Tuesday. The Marathi film Nude had also been dropped from the festival.
Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:
- A two-judge bench of the Kerala High Court has turned down the Centre's appeal against the Tuesday's order by single-judge bench. The appeal said the film S Durga did not have the necessary clearances and its inclusion at this point is likely to upset the arrangements of the film festival, which ends on November 28.
- S Durga and the Marathi film Nude were reportedly chosen by a 13-member jury to open the Indian Panorama Section of the film festival. But the names did not make it to the final list released by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
- The directors said they had not been informed that their films were being pulled out.
- Director Sujoy Ghosh, who was the head of the 13-member jury of the film festival, resigned immediately. Two other members, screen writer Apurva Asrani and filmmaker Gyan Correa, stepped down as well.
- Members of the jury say their recommendation is usually made public by the government just after the list is sent to the ministry. This time, the jury submitted its list to the ministry in September, but it was made public only recently and did not name of the two films.
- The Information and Broadcasting ministry has not officially responded to the controversy.
- Sanal Kumar Sasodharan, the director of S Durga, appealed in the Kerala High Court against the ministry's decision. His petition said that the ministry "arbitrarily vetoed the decision of the jury without any authority of law" and dropped the movie without informing its director or citing any reason for its decision.
- S Durga, a road movie that shows the chilling encounter of two hitchhikers - man and a woman -- with two men in the dead of the night, had won the Hivos Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017.
- Mr Sasodharan's petition said some fringe groups were against the film because they mistakenly thought the title refers to Goddess Durga. He had earlier changed the title of the film from Sexy Durga to S Durga as the censor board did not like the word "Sexy".
- The Marathi movie Nude, which was also excluded, is about a woman who works as a nude model in Mumbai. Its director, Ravi Jadhav, said he has written to the I&B ministry seeking to know why his film was rejected.
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