• Kerala High Court Gives a Nod to the Screening of S Durga at IFFI

    "Another victory over the centre’s attempts to put a curb on creative freedom of expression"

    Newsclick Report

    November 22, 2017


    Giving a major boost to the artistic freedom and creative minds, the Kerala High Court instructed the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) organisers to include and exhibit the film ‘S Durga’, directed by Sanal Kumar Sashidharan, in the Indian Panorama section of the Festival.

    Overruling the objections of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry, the Single Judge, Justice K. Vinod, ordered that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) certified version of the film is entitled to screen.

    The director had petitioned in the High Court last week. Even though the film was selected by the festival jury, the ministry axed the decision of the jury. Raising the argument that the original title of the film “Sexy Durga” was hurting the religious sentiments, the I&B ministry tried to justify the exclusion of the film.

    While the court observed that the film got ‘U/A’ certificate from the CBFC and the ministry’s argument was unarguable. Along with this, the court also noted that there was no change in the creative content of the movie after CBFC certification.

    Expressing the victory over the Centre’s attempts to put a curb on creative freedom, the director Sanal Kumar Sashidharan wrote on his Facebook wall: “I usually don't celebrate victories. But this I can’t stay away. This is the victory of cinema. This is the victory of our democracy. This is the victory of those people from the jury who sacrificed. Cheers India!”

    Along with S Durga, the film Nude, directed by the Marathi filmmaker Ravi Jadhav, was also excluded the festival earlier. Nude was the film which suggested by the jury as the opening film for the Indian Panorama. But these two films have been rejected by the Ministry from the list of 26 feature films selected by the 13-member jury.

    Following the barbaric step of the Ministry, the filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh resigned as the head of the feature film jury of the gala. Scriptwriter Apurva Asrani and Gyan Correa also submitted their resignation thereafter.

    On the other hand, the festival was kicked off by evergreen actor Sridevi in Goa on Tuesday. As per the order of the court, the schedule for the screening of S Durga will have to be arranged before November 28, the concluding day of IFFI.


    First published in Newsclick.

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