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

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