• “We are deeply disturbed by these restrictions on artistic freedom.”

    June 17, 2017

    Shri M Venkaiah Naidu
    Minister for Information and Broadcasting
    Shastri Bhavan
    New Delhi-110001

    Dear Sir,

    We the undersigned are deeply disturbed by the news of three films being denied screening at the 10th edition of the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) 2017.

    We want to question the basis for denying screening permission to these films. A brief perusal of the themes of the films denied screening – the suicide of research scholar Rohit Vemula, on artists in Kashmir, and on the student protests at JNU – indicates that each one of these films is dealing with prominent political issues that have led to much discussion within the country. It is also clear that the government of the day is resorting to draconian action to stifle all such political debate and indeed Article 19 of our constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression to every citizen of this country.

    We also note that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has not given any reason for its withholding of screening permission.

    We are part of a community of filmmakers and artists who are deeply disturbed by these attempts to restrict artistic voices. We cannot support actions that deprive audiences of meaningful cinema and endanger the democratic values of our country.

    We unequivocally condemn this action by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and lend our unqualified support to IDSFFK and the filmmakers who are being prevented from screening their films.

    We urge the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to immediately issue an exemption letter to the three films and ensure that films at festivals do not face arbitrary censorship in future.

    With Regard,


    1. AM Padmanabhan, Sound Recordist, Mumbai

    2. Aditya Seth​, Filmmaker, Mumbai​

    3. Afrah Shafiq, Filmmaker, Mumbai​

    4. Ajay Bhardwaj, Filmmaker/Scholar, Vancouver, Canada

    5. Ajay Noronha, Cinematographer, Mumbai

    6. Ajayan Adat, Sound Designer, Cochin

    7. Amala Popuri, Sound Recordist, Mumbai

    8. ​Amar Kanwar, ​Filmmaker, New Delhi

    9. Amudhan RP, Filmmaker, Chennai

    10. Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    11. Ananya Chakraborti, Filmmaker, Kolkata

    12. ​Anjali Monteiro​, Academic/Filmmaker, Mumbai​

    13. Anupama Chandra, Editor/Filmmaker, New Delhi

    14. Anupama Srinivasan, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    15. ​Apal Singh, Cinematographer​, Nainital

    16. Aparna Sanyal, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    17. Apoorv Thacker, Filmmaker, Pune

    18. Archana Kapoor, Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    19. Arjun Gourisaria, Editor/Filmmaker, Panjim​

    20. ​Arshad Sardar, Cinematographer, Mumbai​

    21. Arun Sethi, Cinematographer/Filmmaker, Mumbai

    22. Aruna Vasudev, Author/Curator, New Delhi​

    23. Asheesh Pandya, Sound Recordist, Gurgaon

    24. ​Ashmaki Acharya, Academic/​Filmmaker, Mumbai

    25. Avijit Mukul Kishore, Cinematographer, Mumbai

    26. ​Batul Mukhtiar, ​Filmmaker, Mumbai

    27. Bela Negi, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    28. Bgyna Bhushan Dahal, Audiographer, Mumbai

    29. Bishakha Dutta, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    30. Bobo Khuraijam, Indie Filmmaker, Imphal​

    31. CK Muraleedharan, Cinematographer, Mumbai

    32. Chandita Mukherjee, Filmmaker, Mumbai​

    33. Cyrus Mistry, Playwright/ Novelist, Mumbai

    34. Daksh Punj, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    35. Debalina Majumder, Filmmaker, Kolkata

    36. Deepa Dhanraj, Filmmaker, Bengaluru

    37. ​Deepika Sharma, ​Filmmaker, New Delhi

    38. Deepti Khurana, Academic and Filmmaker, Rohtak

    39. Dinker, Actor, New Delhi

    40. Dipti Bhalla Verma, Editor/Filmmaker, Gurgaon

    41. Fazil N.C., ​Filmmaker

    42. Gargi Sen, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    43. Gauri Chakraborty, Academic/Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    44. Girish Shahane, Author, Mumbai

    45. Gautam Sonti, Filmmaker, Bengaluru

    46. George Mangalath Thomas, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    47. ​Girish Shahane,​ Author, Mumbai

    48. ​Gouri Patwardhan​, Academic/Filmmaker, Pune

    49. Gurpal Singh, Actor/Filmmaker, Mumbai

    50. Hansa Thapliyal, Filmmaker, Bangalore

    51. Haobam Paban Kumar, Filmmaker, Imphal​

    52. Heer Ganjwala, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    53. ​Indrajit Neogi​, Sound Recordist, Mumbai

    54. Indranil Roychowdhury, Filmaker, Kolkata

    55. Ira Bhaskar, Academic, New Delhi

    56. Iram Ghufran, Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    57. Irene Dhar Malik, Editor, Mumbai

    58. ​Jabeen Merchant​, Editor, Mumbai

    59. James Khangenbham, Filmmaker, Imphal

    60. Jill Misquitta, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    61. K.P. Jayasankar, Academic/Filmmaker, Mumbai​

    62. ​K.U. Mohanan​, Cinematographer, Mumbai

    63. Kamal KM, Filmmaker, Kochi

    64. Karma Takapa, Filmmaker, Gangtok

    65. Kasturi, Scholar and Film Activist, Kolkata

    66. Kavita Joshi, Media Trainer and Filmmaker, New Delhi

    67. Kavita Pai, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    68. Keval Arora, Academic, New Delhi

    69. Kislay, Editor, New Delhi

    70. Laxmi Keluskar, Production Designer, Mumbai

    71. Leena Manimekalai, Filmmaker, Chennai

    72. ​Mahadeb Shi​, Editor/Filmmaker, Kolkata

    73. Maheen Mirza, Cinematographer, Bhopal

    74. ​Maibam Amarjeet Singh, Filmmaker, Manipur

    75. Malika Taneja, Actor, New Delhi

    76. Mamta Murthy, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    77. Maya Krishna Rao, Theatre Artist, New Delhi ​

    78. Meenakshi Arumugam, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    79. Miriam Chandy Menacherry, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    80. Mithu Sen, Artist, New Delhi

    81. Moinak Biswas,Academic, Kolkata

    82. Monica Wahi, Curator, Mumbai

    83. Nakul Singh Sawhney, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    84. Nandini Bedi, Teacher/Filmmaker, Oegstgeest, The Netherlands

    85. Naveen Padmanabha, Filmmaker, Bengaluru

    86. Navroze Contractor, Cinematographer/ Filmmaker, Bengaluru

    87. Nilita Vachani, Filmmaker/Editor, New York

    88. Nina Sabnani, Academic/ Filmmaker, Mumbai

    89. Nirmal Chander, Editor/Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    90. Nishtha Jain, Filmmaker, Mumbai​

    91. Nupur Basu, Filmmaker/Journalist, Bengaluru

    92. Padmaja Shaw, Academic/Filmmaker, Hyderabad ​

    93. ​Pankaj Rishi Kumar​, Editor/ Filmmaker, Mumbai

    94. Paramita Ghosh, Editor, Mumbai

    95. Paromita Vohra, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    96. Pooja Sharma, Cinematographer, Mumbai

    97. Premalya Singh, Artist, New Delhi

    98. ​Priya Thuvassery​, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    99. Priyanka Chhabra, Filmmaker/ Artist, New Delhi

    100. Puloma Pal, Editor, Mumbai

    101. Purnima Singh, Artist, New Delhi

    102. Pushpender Singh, Filmmaker, Pune

    103. Putul Mahmood, Academic/Filmmaker, Kolkata

    104. Rahul Roy, Filmmaker, Gurgaon

    105. Ramani, Filmmaker, Chennai

    106. Ranjan Palit, Cinematographer/ Filmmaker, Kolkata

    107. Ranjani Mazumdar, Academic/Filmmaker, New Delhi

    108. Reena Mohan, Editor, New Delhi

    109. Saba Dewan, Filmmaker, Gurgaon​

    110. Sahana Manjesh, Advocate, New Delhi

    111. Saikhom Ratan, Filmmaker, Imphal

    112. Sameera Jain, Academic/Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    113. Samina Mishra​, Filmmaker/ Educationist, New Delhi

    114. Sandhya Kumar, FIlmmaker, Bengaluru

    115. Sanjay Joshi, Cinema of Resistance

    116. Sanjay Kak, Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    117. Sanju Surendran, Filmmaker, Thrissur

    118. Sankhajit ​Biswas, Editor/Filmmaker, Kolkata

    119. Sania Farooqui, Television Journalist, New Delhi

    120. Sarvnik Kaur, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    121. Satya Rai Nagpaul, Cinematographer, Mumbai

    122. Setu, Cinematographer, Mumbai

    123. Shabnam Sukhdev​, Filmmaker, Canada

    124. Shehnad Jalal, Cinematographer, Thiruvananthapuram

    125. Sherna Dastur,​ Artist/Filmmaker, New Delhi

    126. Shikha Jhingan​, Academic/ Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    127. Shikha Sen, Editor/Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    128. Shini JK, Editor, Mumbai

    129. Shirley Abraham, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    130. Shridhar Sudhir, Filmmaker, Patna​

    131. Shubham, Actor, Delhi

    132. Simantini Dhuru, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    133. Smriti Nevatia, Curator/Script Consultant, Mumbai​

    134. Sneha Koshi,​ Artist, Bengaluru

    135. Sonia Nepram, Filmmaker, Imphal​

    136. Subasri Krishnan​, Curator/Filmmaker, New Delhi

    137. Subha Das Mollick, Media Teacher/Filmmaker, Kolkata

    138. Subhadipta Biswas, Filmmaker, Kolkata

    139. Subhasish Goon

    140. Sudheer Palsane, Cinematographer, Mumbai

    141. Sukanta Majumdar, Sound Recordist, Kolkata

    142. Sunanda Bhat, Filmmaker, Bengaluru​

    ​143. Sunzu Bachaspatimayun, Filmmaker/ TV journalist, ​

    144. Supriyo Sen, Filmmaker, Kolkata​

    145. Surabhi Sharma, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    ​146. Suresh Rajamani​, Sound Recordist, Mumbai

    147. Sushma Veerappa, ​Filmmaker, Bengaluru ​

    148. Swati Dandekar, ​Filmmaker, Bengaluru ​

    149. T . Jayashree, Filmmaker, Bengaluru

    150. T. N. Uma Devi, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    151. Tarun Bhartiya, Filmmaker/Photographer/Publisher, Shillong

    152. Tathagata Singha, Filmmaker, Mumbai​

    153. Teena Gill, Filmmaker, New Delhi

    154. Tushar Madhav, Filmmaker, Mumbai

    155. Umesh Kulkarni, Filmmaker, Pune​

    156. Vidya Das Arora, Academic, New Delhi

    157. Vani Subramaniam, Filmmaker, New Delhi​

    158. Vasundhara Phadke,​ Editor, Mumbai

    159. Vinod Raja​, Filmmaker, Bengaluru

    160. Yousuf Saeed, Filmmaker, New Delhi


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